AUD/USD – Aussie Subdued, Markets Eye Fed Minutes

The Australian dollar is almost unchanged on Wednesday, following sharp losses this week. At the start of the North American session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.7530. In the US, today’s highlight is the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting. We’ll also hear from two Fed members, Loretta Mester and James Bullard. Australia releases AIG Construction Index. On Thursday, the US releases Unemployment Claims, and Janet Yellen will deliver a speech at event in New York.

There were no surprises from the RBA, which held the course and made no changes to the benchmark rate of 2.00%. The rate has been pegged at this level since May 2015, and although the RBA has often said it will not hesitate to cut rates, it appears that the central bank has little appetite for further easing, despite weak inflation numbers and an economy hurt by weak Chinese demand. The RBA played the same tune in Tuesday’s rate statement, as Governor Glenn Stevens stated that “continued low inflation would provide scope for easier policy, should that be appropriate to lend support to demand.” One could make a solid argument that Australian inflation levels have indeed remained very low for a “continued” period, yet the RBA continues to stand on the sidelines. Given this context, the markets are unlikely to read much into this statement.

Will the real Fed please stand up? The markets have been treated to mixed messages from the US central bank, and this lack of communication is certainly not viewed positively by the markets. Last week, Janet Yellen sent the US dollar flying on its backside, following a surprisingly dovish speech in New York. The Aussie gained strength, as Yellen poured cold water on speculation of an April rate hike. Prior to her speech, several Fed members issued hawkish comments, some going as far as calling for a rate hike at the April policy meeting. Analysts will be paying close attention to the Fed minutes on Wednesday, looking for clues as to further rate projections. The markets are hoping the minutes will provide some clarity about the Fed’s monetary plans. The release of the minutes should be treated as a market-mover, and we could see some volatility in the markets following this release. In addition to the minutes, two FOMC members will deliver remarks on Wednesday.

AUD/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (April 6)

  • 3:40 RBA Assistant Governor Christopher Kent Speaks
  • 10:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 3.1M
  • 12:20 US FOMC Member Loretta Mester Speaks
  • 14:00 US FOMC Meeting Minutes
  • 18:30 US FOMC Member James Bullard Speaks
  • 19:30 Australian AIG Construction Index

Upcoming Key Events

Thursday (April 7)

  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 271K
  • 17:30 US Fed Chair Janet Yellen Speaks

*All release times are DST

AUD/USD for Wednesday, April 6, 2016

AUD/USD April 6 at 8:20 DST

Open: 0.7543 Low: 0.7531 High: 0.7569 Close: 0.7536

AUD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.7213 0.7385 0.7472 0.7560 0.7678 0.7796
  • AUD/USD posted slight gains in the Asian session but has retracted in European trade
  • 0.7472 is providing support
  • 0.7560 remains busy and switched to a resistance role following strong losses by AUD/USD in the Tuesday session
  • Current range: 0.7472 to 0.7560

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 0.7472, 0.7385 and 0.7213
  • Above: 0.7560, 0.7678, 0.7796 and 0.7913

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

The AUD/USD ratio is showing little movement on Wednesday, consistent with the lack of movement shown by AUD/USD. Short and long positions are close to evenly split, indicative of a lack of trader bias as to which direction the pair will take next.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.