SYDNEY, Sept. 10 (Reuters) – The Australian and New Zealand dollars looked to end a sluggish week on a firmer note on Friday as rapid progress in nationwide coronavirus vaccinations portended an economic rebound in the coming months .
The mood in the market was helped by news that US President Joe Biden had a high-profile appeal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday, offering hope for some thaw in superpower relations.
The Aussie edged up 0.2% to $ 0.7384 on the news, having again found support around $ 0.7345. It was still down 0.9% on the week, but well above key support at $ 0.7290 and the recent 10-month low of $ 0.7107.
The Kiwi dollar lost just 0.4% on the week to $ 0.7118, after pulling strong offers around $ 0.7076. This kept it a striking distance from the recent three-month high of $ 0.7170, and well above the August low of $ 0.6810.
While Australia still reports an increase in coronavirus cases, the share of the vaccinated population has also increased significantly and is expected to exceed that of the United States in the coming weeks.
Australia and New Zealand are pooling their vaccination acts, which should lead to the easing of restrictions, Westpacs chief FX strategy officer Richard Franulovich said.
In contrast, the potential for the US dollar to rise at the end of the year appears increasingly limited, with growth expectations in the second half of 2021 waning and the outlook for the labor market looking less certain.
Much of New Zealand, with the exception of the city of Auckland, has already seen a relaxation in stay-at-home rules and the government has called for further blows from abroad.
Growth will drop in the September quarter – we could easily see a drop in GDP in the range of 5-7%, said Jarrod Kerr, chief economist at Kiwibank.
But we expect New Zealand to be largely back to Alert Level 1 by the end of the quarter and the economy will be in a strong position to rebound strongly in the December quarter, around 8.5. % according to U.S.
Such optimism saw the market price in about a 96% probability of a quarter point hike from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) at its October 6 policy meeting. , and about the same odds for a new move in November.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) still does not plan to hike rates until 2024, although it has started to reduce its bond purchases slightly from this week. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; editing by Richard Pullin)
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