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Australian, New Zealand dollars hemmed in by trade uncertainty
[SYDNEY] The Australian and New Zealand dollars were held in tight ranges on Monday as the outlook for a US-Chine trade truce remained uncertain, while investors waited for key local data to be released this week.
The Aussie was a fraction firmer at US$0.6797, hemmed in by resistance at US$0.6835 and support around $0.6770. It was also in the middle of the broader US$0.6670-$0.6930 band that has held for most of the past four months.
The kiwi dollar was looking better-supported at US$0.6418, having risen for the past two weeks. Resistance was just ahead at US$0.6436, with support at US$0.6382.
The Aussie has been pressured by a run of disappointing local economic data that has led investors to narrow the odds on another rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
Markets imply around an 18 per cent chance the RBA will ease by a quarter point to 0.5 per cent at its Dec 3 meeting, rising to 60 per cent by February and almost 100 per cent by May.
Figures due on Thursday are forecast to show business investment nearly flat in the September quarter, pointing to yet more sub par growth in the overall economy.
That soft performance is likely to be on the mind of RBA Governor Philip Lowe during a speech on the offshore experience of quantitative easing on Tuesday, which should offer clues to what stimulus steps it might consider.
"Lowe's discussion on QE has stepped up noticeably in recent weeks, a departure from his view that QE is 'quite unlikely' just a few months back," wrote analysts at TD Securities in a note. "His speech is likely to reiterate that a package of measures works best, should QE be a policy option in Australia. Government bond purchases are likely to feature in the toolkit."
Australia's Federal bond market is relatively modest at around A$500 billion and analysts generally assume the RBA would buy at least A$100 billion a year as part of a package, potentially a major boon to bond prices.
Bonds have already had an upbeat couple of weeks with yields on the 10-year note down at 1.09 per cent from a 1.34 per cent peak early in the month.
Three-year bond futures were steady at 99.260 having rallied from a 99.070 trough in the past two weeks.