AUD/USD – Aussie Higher on Strong GDP

The Australian dollar has posted gains on Wednesday, as the pair trades at 0.7270. The currency moved higher as Australian GDP climbed 1.1%, well above expectations. Later in the day, Australia releases two major indicators – Retail Sales and Trade Balance. In the US, today’s key indicator is a key manufacturing indicator, ISM Manufacturing PMI. The markets are expecting a weak reading of 50.5 in the April report. On Thursday, the US releases two key employment indicators – ADP Nonfarm Payrolls and Unemployment Claims.

The Aussie has enjoyed a strong week, gaining about 100 points. Australian GDP in the first quarter was unexpectedly strong at 1.1%, well above the estimate of 0.6%. GDP was boosted by a strong increase in exports to China and higher consumer spending. This marked the strongest GDP report since 2014, and could dampen expectations about another rate cut from the RBA, which will hold its policy meeting next week. The central bank surprised the markets with a rate cut in May, lowering rates from 2.00% to 1.75%. The central bank has sent broad hints that it will continue cutting rates, although it may choose to wait until after the Australian election in July.

Only a few weeks ago, a rate hike in the US was considered very unlikely. However, recent comments by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and other Fed policymakers have strongly hinted that a rate hike is on the table this summer. On Friday, Yellen said that if the US economy continued to improve, a rate hike would be appropriate in the “coming months”. This was followed by St. Louis Reserve President James Bullard, who said on Monday that global markets were “well prepared” for a summer interest rate rise, although he didn’t provide any specific dates. Odds of a rate hike in June have increased, but the Fed will be hard-pressed to raise rates if key indicators don’t show improvement, particularly inflation numbers. According to CME Group, traders have priced in a June rate hike at 28%, 60% for July and 68% in September. Market sentiment has strongly shifted towards the Fed raising rates, and this could boost the US dollar against its rivals.

AUD/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (May 31)

  • 21:30 Australian GDP. Estimate 0.6%. Actual 1.1%

Wednesday (June 1)

  • 2:30 Australian Commodity Prices. Estimate -10.0%
  • 9:45 US Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 50.5
  • 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 50.5
  • 10:00 US Construction Spending. Estimate 0.5%
  • 10:00 US ISM Manufacturing Prices. Estimate 58.0
  • All Day – US Total Vehicle Sales. Estimate 17.2M
  • 14:00 US Beige Book
  • 21:30 Australian Retail Sales. Estimate 0.3%
  • 21:30 Australian Trade Balance. Estimate -2.11B

Upcoming Key Events

Thursday (June 2)

  • All Day – OPEC Meetings
  • 8:15 US ADP Nonfarm Employment Change. Estimate 177K
  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 270K

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are EDT

AUD/USD for Wednesday, June 1, 2016

AUD/USD June 1 at 8:40 EDT

Open: 0.7235 Low: 0.7227 High: 0.7299 Close: 0.7268

AUD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.7049 0.7160 0.7251 0.7339 0.7472 0.7612
  • AUD/USD posted gains in the Asian session and has been choppy in European trade
  • 0.7251 has switched to a support role following gains by AUD/USD. It is a weak line
  • There is resistance at 0.7339
  • Current range: 0.7251 to 0.7339

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 0.7251, 0.7160, 0.7049 and 0.6916
  • Above: 0.7339, 0.7472 and 0.7612

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

AUD/USD ratio has  showed movement towards long positions on Wednesday. Long positions have a strong majority (68%), indicative of trader bias towards AUD/USD continuing to move higher.

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.