AUD/USD has edged higher on Thursday, as the pair trades in the low-0.93 range early in the North American session. On the release front, Australian MI Inflation Expectations dropped to 3.1% in July. In the US, Unemployment Claims climbed to 311 thousand, above expectations.
In the US, Unemployment Claims, one of the most important economic indicators, disappointed the markets. The indicator climbed to 311 thousand, marking a six-week high. The estimate stood at 307 thousand. Employment indicators are under the market microscope, as the strength of the labor market is one of the most important factors influencing the Federal Reserve regarding the timing of an interest rate hike. A rate increase is expected by mid-2015, but stronger economic data, especially on the employment front, could hasten a move by the Fed. Earlier in the week, JOLTS Job Openings hit its highest level in 13 years, although it too missed expectations.
US retail sales data disappointed on Wednesday. Retail Sales dropped to a flat 0.0% last month, its weakest showing since January. The estimate stood at 0.2%. Core Retail Sales wasn’t much better, posting a gain of 0.1%, down from 0.4% a month earlier. This was well short of the estimate of 0.4%. Retail sales are the primary gauge of consumer spending, and July’s weak numbers points to a slow start to the third quarter. Although unemployment levels have dropped, this has not translated into stronger spending by the US consumer.
Australian confidence indicators have enjoyed a strong week. On Wednesday, Westpac Consumer Sentiment climbed 0.8%, its strongest gain since October 2012. Earlier in the week, NAB Business Confidence reached 11 points, its fourth straight increase. Stronger confidence levels should translate into increased economic growth, which would be positive news for the Australian dollar.
AUD/USD for Thursday, August 14, 2014
AUD/USD August 14 at 13:35 GMT
AUD/USD 0.9320 H: 0.9327 L: 0.9288
- AUD/USD stayed close to the 0.93 for most of the Asian session. The pair edged higher in European trading and is steady early in North American trade.
- On the downside, 0.9229 has strengthened as the Australian dollar trades at higher levels.
- 0.9361 is an immediate resistance line. 0.9446 is next.
- Current range: 0.9229 to 0.9361
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 0.9229, 0.9119, 0.9020 and 0.8916
- Above: 0.9361, 0.9446, 0.9617 and 0.9757
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
AUD/USD ratio is pointing to gains in long positions on Thursday. This is consistent with the movement of the pair, as the Australian dollar has posted slight gains. The ratio has a majority of long positions, indicative of trader bias towards the Australian dollar continuing to move to higher ground.
- 00:30 Australian MI Inflation Expectations. Actual 3.1%.
- 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 307K. Actual 311K.
- 12:30 US Import Prices. Estimate -0.2%. Actual -0.2%.
- 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 81B.
- 17:01 US 30-year Bond Auction.
* Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT