AUD/USD – Aussie Showing Limited Movement, RBA Rate Announcement Next

The Australian dollar is subdued on Monday, continuing the lack of movement which marked the Friday session. AUD/USD is trading at 0.7640 in the European session. In economic news, Australian NAB Business Confidence looked sharp, climbing 5 points. Australian Building Approvals is expected to post a decline of 1.8%. Early Tuesday, the RBA releases its monthly rate statement and the government releases the annual budget. In the US, today’s key event is the ISM Manufacturing PMI.

Will the RBA make a move on Tuesday? The central bank has consistently sent out the message that it will not hesitate to lower rates if warranted by economic conditions, but has been shy to act. Until last week, the markets were expecting the RBA to remain on the sidelines, but an unexpectedly weak CPI reading has increased the possibility of a rate cut. CPI declined 0.2% in the first quarter, well off the forecast of a 0.3% gain. It appears that negative inflation numbers, part of the economic landscape of the US, Japanese and Eurozone economies, has reached Australia as well. If the RBA views the negative CPI reading as a game-changer, it could decide to take firm action and lower interest rates. As well, the RBA would prefer a weaker Australian currency, and a rate cut would likely push the Aussie downwards.

US GDP climbed 0.5% in the first quarter, shy of the estimate of 0.7%. This was considerably lower than the 1.4% gain in the fourth quarter of 2015, and marked the weakest quarter of growth in two years. Although economic growth remains moderate, the lukewarm reading will not help the cause of Fed policymakers who favor a rate hike, especially with inflation at low levels. The markets, which were not expecting an April hike, are keeping a close eye on key numbers, looking for clues as to whether the Fed will make a move at its June policy meeting. The April policy statement sounded cautiously optimistic about the US economy, but did not provide any clues about a hike in June.

The US manufacturing sector continues to lag behind the economy’s generally strong performance. Last week, Core Durable Goods dropped 0.2%, well off the estimate of a 0.6% gain. This marked the fourth decline in five months. Durable Goods Orders was stronger at 0.8%, but also missed expectations, as the estimate stood at 1.9%. Recent manufacturing reports, such as the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index have also been soft, as the industry has been hard-hit by weak global demand and a downturn in the US oil industry due to low crude prices. We’ll get a look at the ISM Manufacturing Index later on Monday.

AUD/USD Fundamentals

Sunday (May 1)

  • 19:30 Australian AIG Manufacturing Index. Actual 53.4
  • 21:00 Australian MI Inflation Gauge. Actual 0.1%
  • 21:30 Australian NAB Business Confidence. Actual 5 points

Monday (May 2)

  • 2:30 Australian Commodity Prices. Actual -9.4%
  • 9:45 US Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 51.0
  • 10:00 ISM Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 51.6 points
  • 10:00 US Construction Spending. Estimate 0.5%
  • 10:00 ISM Manufacturing Prices. Estimate 51.0
  • Tentative – US Loan Officer Survey
  • 21:30 Australian Building Approvals. Estimate -1.8%

Upcoming Key Events

Tuesday (May 3)

  • 00:30 RBA Cash Rate. Estimate 2.00%
  • 00:30 RBA Rate Statement
  • 5:30 Australian Annual Budget Release

*All release times are EDT

AUD/USD for Monday, May 2, 2016

AUD/USD May 2 at 7:45 EDT

Open: 0.7615 Low: 0.7595 High: 0.7638 Close: 0.7636

AUD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.7339 0.7472 0.7560 0.7678 0.7796 0.7913
  • AUD/USD showed limited movement in the Asian session. The pair has posted small gains in the European trade
  • 0.7560 is a strong support level
  • 0.7678 is a weak resistance line
  • Current range: 0.7560 to 0.7678

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 0.7560, 0.7472 and 0.7339
  • Above: 0.7678, 0.7796, 0.7913 and 0.8054

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

AUD/USD ratio is showing a majority for long positions (54%) on Monday. This is indicative of trader bias towards AUD/USD continuing to post gains.

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.