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SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars were near their lows for the week on Friday after another upside surprise on US inflation dimmed the prospects of early rate cuts there and bruised bonds globally.

Markets reacted by paring the chance of a June easing from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to 40% from 50%, while a move in August was now put around 70%.

The probability of an August rate cut from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) was put at 80%, having been fully priced a couple of weeks ago.

Futures imply only 38 basis points of RBA easing for all of 2024, with the RBNZ seen cutting by 61 basis points.

The RBA holds its next policy meeting on March 19 and the market already saw no chance of a move in the current 4.35% cash rate, while assuming the board would retain some form of conditional tightening bias.

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