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New Zealand bonds close mixed ahead of GDT price auction, RBNZ policy meeting

The New Zealand bonds closed mixed Tuesday as investors wait to watch the GlobalDairyTrade price auction, scheduled to be held later today. Also, markets are now looking forward to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s monetary policy decision, due to be held on March 22 for further direction in the debt market.  

The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond, which moves inversely to its price closed flat at 3.25 percent, the yield on 7-year note slipped nearly 1 basis point to 2.82 percent while the yield on short-term 2-year note traded 1/2 basis points higher at 2.12 percent.

New Zealand’s Dairy prices fell 6.3 percent in the latest GDT price auction, following a 3.2 percent decline a fortnight ago. Within this, powder prices performed poorly, with whole milk powder prices falling 12.4 percent to USD2,794/MT, and skim milk powder prices falling 15.5 percent. Meanwhile, AMF continues to be well-supported at high levels, edging down only 0.8 percent.

"We expect the Reserve Bank to hold the OCR at 1.75 percent and to maintain a neutral outlook for interest rates," Westpac commented in its latest research report.

While near-term inflation is looking a bit stronger, growth in activity has fallen short of the central bank’s very optimistic forecasts. The slowdown in the housing market may have been a factor here. The risk is that the economy simply may not have enough puff to generate the sustained lift in inflation pressures that the RBNZ is looking for, the report added.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index closed 0.40 percent higher at 7,085.54, while at 05:00 GMT, the FxWirePro's Hourly NZD Strength Index remained neutral at 37.29 (a reading above +75 indicates a bullish trend, while that below -75 a bearish trend). For more details, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/currencyindex

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