AUD/USD continues to trade at high levels, as the pair trades in the mid-0.93 range on Thursday. In economic news, Australian data was a disappointment, as NAB Quarterly Business Confidence and New Motor Vehicle Sales dropped in March. In the US, Unemployment Claims beat the estimate while the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index surged, hitting a six-month high.
Australian releases failed to impress on Thursday. NAB Quarterly Business Confidence dropped to 6 points in Q1, down from 8 points in Q4. New Motor Vehicle Sales, an important consumer spending indicator, declined by 0.3%, its second drop in three releases. Despite the weak numbers, the Aussie didn’t sustain much damage. Meanwhile, the US dollar wasn’t able to take advantage of strong employment and manufacturing numbers.
In the US, Unemployment Claims rebounded sharply, as the key indicator dropped to 300 thousand last week. This beat the estimate of 314 thousand and marked the lowest reading since May 2007. With the Federal Reserve looking to trim its QE program and speculation rising about a possible interest rate increase, every employment release is under the market microscope. There was more good news from the manufacturing sector, as the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index soared to 16.6 points, its best showing since September. This was well above the estimate of 9.6 points.
On Wednesday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said that there is little inflationary pressure on the economy, and it was unlikely that the Fed’s inflation target of 2% would be met. She added that although the economy has showed signs of recovery, unemployment remains a sore spot. The Fed has abandoned its promise to maintain interest rates at least as long as the unemployment rate is above 6.5%, but the dovish stance we are seeing from Yellen means that a rate hike is unlikely in the near future.
AUD/USD for Thursday, April 17, 2014
AUD/USD April 17 at 17:30 GMT
AUD/USD 0.9339 H: 0.9390 L: 0.9338
- AUD/USD has edged lower on Thursday. The pair touched a high of 0.9330 in the Asian session but was unable to consolidate at that level.
- 0.9229 is providing strong support.
- 0.9361 is a weak resistance line which was briefly breached earlier in the day. This is followed by stronger resistance at 0.9446.
- Current range: 0.9229 to 0.9361.
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 0.9229, 0.9119, 0.9000 and 0.8893
- Above: 0.9361, 0.9446, 0.9542, 0.9617 and 0.9703
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
AUD/USD ratio is almost evenly split, pointing to a lack of bias as to which direction AUD/USD might take next.
AUD/USD has edged lower on Thursday. The pair is steady in the North American session.
- 1:30 Australian NAB Quarterly Business Confidence. Actual 6 points.
- 1:30 Australian New Motor Vehicle Sales. Actual -0.3%.
- 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 316K. Actual 304K.
- 14:00 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 9.6 points. Actual 16.6 points.
- 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 35B.
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT