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SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars were calm on Monday ahead of a slew of central bank rate decisions this week likely to flag the end is nearing for a global campaign of tightening, offering some respite for the embattled currencies.

The Aussie was hovering at $0.6440, after last week’s rise of 0.8% to a high of $0.6474.

The 2023 low of $0.6358 hit two weeks ago is providing strong support but the currency has failed to move sustainably above $0.6450.

The kiwi dollar was looking a tad stronger at $0.5912, after last week’s gain of 0.3%. It also has support at the 2023 low of $0.5860 while near-term resistance is at $0.5920.

The two currencies were mostly rangebound in thin liquidity on Monday, after steadying last week on cautious optimism that the slowdown in their biggest trading partner China may have passed its worst.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve is almost certain to keep rates unchanged, but the focus will be on updated economic and rates projections.

Barclays expects the Federal Open Market Committee to retain its tightening bias, leave its rate projections this year unchanged but revise up the 2024 projections, indicating few rate cuts next year.

“We think the FOMC will remain sceptical that it has already reached a level of rates that is sufficiently restrictive,” the banks analysts told clients in a note.

Factors contributing to this scepticism were a re-acceleration in consumption registered in July, a labour market that was still tight, and a slower pace of disinflation than suggested earlier in the summer, they added.

Australia, NZ dollars head for biggest weekly gains in two months

The Reserve Bank of Australia is set release the minutes of its September meeting on Tuesday.

Markets suspect the RBA is largely done with its tightening campaign after leaving rates unchanged for three straight months.

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