News & Analysis

AUD CPI eases but Interest Rates could continue rising

2 March 2023 By GO Markets


The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an inflation indicator that is closely watched by the markets and policymakers as a gauge of economic fluctuation and price stability. Generally, central banks set and adjust their monetary policy mandate in order to achieve a target level of 2-3% which would allow for moderate growth in prices. As the major economies emerge from the cloud of the Covid pandemic, the new battle is for the central banks to bring down inflation.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) began on its path of aggressive interest rate hikes in May 2022 as the Australian CPI had been climbing steadily to reach 6% by that same period. However, despite the rate hikes, inflation continued to rise to a peak of 8.4% in December 2022.

This week, the Australian CPI y/y data was released at 7.4% which highlights an easing in inflation growth, potentially a lagging impact from the cumulate interest rate increases from the RBA. Immediately following the release of the CPI data, the AUDUSD spiked down from the 0.6730 level to retest the round number key support level of 0.67.

However, as the RBA has indicated that “further increases in interest rates will be needed over the months ahead to ensure that inflation returns to target”, the current slowdown in inflation growth could provide the RBA with more confidence that rate increases could lead to it achieving its target.

As a result, sustained moves to the downside have been limited as the market anticipates another 25bps rate hike to come in the following week. The AUDUSD currently trades under the 0.6780 resistance area which coincides with the 23.8% Fibonacci retracement level. Anticipating a bullish correction to the upside, as markets expect further interest rate increases, look for the price to break above the resistance level and the bearish trendline to trade higher toward the next key resistance level of 0.6870. This potential move higher is also supported by a crossover on the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD).

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