SYDNEY, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars hit multi-week highs on Tuesday as breaks of major resistance barriers squeezed out short positions, while recent gains for the yuan supported currencies across the region.
The Aussie was taking in the view at $0.6618, having earlier climbed to a four-month high of $0.6632. The 200-day moving average of $0.6584 will now provide near-term support, with the next major bull target $0.6740.
The kiwi dollar was up at $0.6106, after reaching a seven-week peak of $0.6114. Its 200-day moving average is at $0.6092, while resistance lies around $0.6133.
Both have been on an uptrend since a soft reading on U.S. inflation a couple of weeks ago stoked expectations of rate cuts there next year. The U.S. dollar ticked down to a three-month low against peer currencies on Tuesday after slipping overnight on weaker-than-expected new home sales data.
At the same time, Beijing has stepped up support for the yuan, wrong footing speculators who had shorted the Aussie as a liquid proxy for the Chinese currency.
"The shift in the yuan from a headwind to a tailwind helped clear resistance at $0.6520 and is keeping the Aussie abreast of most majors," said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at NAB.
"For the NZD, the break of resistance at $0.6055 increases the chance the currency has entered a trading range up as far as $0.6400."
Markets are still wagering the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) could hike again after lifting rates to a 12-year high of 4.35% earlier this month.
Futures imply only a small risk of a move at the RBA's next policy meeting on Dec. 5, but a 65% probability of a hike in the first half of 2024.
Speaking on Tuesday, RBA Governor Michele Bullock again emphasised that policy needed to be restrictive to restrain domestic demand and keep inflation expectations anchored.
Domestic data out Tuesday did show retail sales dipped 0.2% in October, but analysts assumed shoppers were merely saving ahead of the Black Friday sales.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) holds its policy meeting on Wednesday and is considered certain to hold rates at 5.5% given recent softness in inflation and employment.
Investors will be focused on whether the bank brings forward the likely timing of a first rate cut, which it currently predict will not come until early 2025.
Markets imply around a 50-50 chance of a first easing in July next year and have a relatively modest 32 basis points of cut priced in for all of 2024.
"On balance, recent data will have left the RBNZ more comfortable with an 'on hold' stance," said analysts at Westpac in a note. "It will be keen to ensure as much of the recent increase in mortgage rates remains in place for a while." (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Kim Coghill)