The New Zealand dollar edged lower against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, as the greenback strengthened moderately ahead of the Federal Reserve’s highly-anticipated policy statement due later in the day.
NZD/USD hit 0.7292 during late Asian trade, the pair’s lowest since March 12; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.7294, falling 0.18%.
The pair was likely to find support at 0.7268, the low of March 12 and resistance at 0.7361, the high of March 10.
Market participants were eyeing Wednesday’s Fed statement to see if it would drop its reference to being patient before raising rates and signal that it is ready to hike rates depending on economic data.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Tuesday that housing starts declined by 17.0% last month to hit 897,000 units from January’s total of 1.081 million units, worse than expectations for a decline of 2.4% to 1.049 million.
The report also showed that the number of building permits issued last month increased by 3.0% to 1.092 million units from January’s total of 1.060 million. Analysts expected building permits to fall by 0.5% to 1.065 million units in February.
The kiwi was lower against the Australian dollar, with AUD/NZD adding 0.11% to 1.0434.