The Australian dollar might give back most of its recent gains against the U.S. and New Zealand dollars if the Reserve Bank of Australia opts not to raise rates next week, given the groundswell of opinion backing a hike. Thirty-five out of 39 economists polled by Reuters expect the RBA to increase rates on Nov. 7, with only four predicting a hold. All of the “Big Four” Australian banks are in the majority forecasting a hike, including Westpac where newly-installed chief economist Luci Ellis was until recently assistant governor at the RBA. AUD/USD scaled a five-week peak of 0.6456 on Thursday, as the risk-sensitive AUD benefitted from global equity gains, hours after AUD/NZD notched a 19-week high of 1.0948.
If the RBA springs a dovish surprise and keeps rates unchanged on Tuesday, AUD/USD and AUD/NZD could respectively sag towards 0.6300 and 1.0800. Australia’s central bank most recently raised rates in May (when 75% of economists polled by Reuters expected a hold).