AUD/USD has crossed above the key 0.90 level in Thursday trade. The Aussie received a boost from an excellent Employment Change release for February. Over in the US, retail sales numbers met expectations, while Unemployment Claims dropped for a second straight week.
Australian Employment Change surprised the markets, as the key indicator posted its biggest gain in a year, climbing to 47.3 thousand. This easily surpassed the estimate of 15.3 thousand. The Unemployment Rate remained unchanged at 6%. The Australian dollar reacted positively to the employment news and broke above the 0.90 line. The Aussie has now gained over one cent since Tuesday.
In the US, employment numbers also pleased the markets. Unemployment Claims dropped to 315 thousand, beating the estimate of 334 thousand. This was the second straight drop for the key employment indicator. Core Retail Sales and Retail Sales both posted modest gains of 0.3%, which were within market expectations. These indicators are the primary gauges of consumer spending, and although the gains were modest, they mark an improvement over the January readings.
With Nonfarm Payrolls improving and Unemployment Claims dropping, the markets can breathe more comfortably as the Fed is likely to take its scissors and trim QE next week for the third time. New York Fed President William Dudley stated last week that the threshold to alter the Fed’s program to wind up QE was “pretty high”. In other words, short of a serious economic downturn in the US economy, we can expect the QE tapers to continue.
AUD/USD for Thursday, March 13, 2014
AUD/USD March 13 at 13:35 GMT
AUD/USD 0.9080 H: 0.9082 L: 0.8995
- AUD/USD has posted sharp gains in Thursday trading. The pair was up sharply late in the Asian session, when it crossed into 0.90 territory.
- 0.90 has switched to a support role as the Aussie moves higher. This is followed by support at 0.8893.
- 0.9119 is the first resistance line. This line has weakened and could face pressure during the day. Next, there is resistance at 0.9229.
- Current range: 0.9000 to 0.9119
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 0.9000, 0.8893, 0.8735, 0.8658 and 0.8565
- Above: 0.9119, 0.9229, 0.9361 and 0.9466
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
AUD/USD ratio has reversed directions on Thursday, pointing to gains in short positions. This is not consistent with what we are seeing from the pair, as the Aussie has registered sharp gains. AUD/USD ratio is made up of a majority of long positions, reflecting a trader bias towards the Australian dollar continuing to rally against the US currency.
The Australian dollar continues to gain ground as it moves closer to the 0.91 line. We continue to see strong pressure on the US dollar in the European session.
- 00:00 Australian MI Inflation Expectations. Actual 2.1%.
- 00:30 Australian Employment Change. Estimate 15.3K. Actual 47.3K.
- 00:30 Australian Unemployment Rate. Estimate 6.0%. Actual 6.0%.
- 12:30 US Core Retail Sales. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.3%.
- 12:30 US Retail Sales. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.3%.
- 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 334K. Actual 315K.
- 12:30 US Import Prices. Estimate 0.6%. Actual 0.9%.
- 14:00 US Business Inventories. Estimate 0.4%.
- 14:00 US Federal Reserve Governor Nomination Hearings.
- 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -199B.
- 17:01 US 30-year Bond Auction.
- 18:00 US Federal Budget Balance. Estimate -223.2B
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT
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