AUD/USD – Aussie Edges Higher Ahead of Key Construction Report

The Australian dollar has edged higher on Tuesday, continuing the upward trend seen on Monday. AUD/USD is trading at 0.7640 in the North American session. On the release front, Australia will publish Construction Work Done for the second quarter, with an estimate of -1.9%. In the US, the Richmond Manufacturing Index came in at minus -11, well short of expectations. US New Homes Sales sparkled with a gain of 654 thousand, well above the forecast of 575 thousand. The US will publish additional housing data on Wednesday, with the release of Existing Home Sales.

US numbers were a mix on Tuesday. The Richmond Manufacturing Index dropped sharply, dropping 11 points. The markets had expected a strong gain of plus -6. There was much better news from the housing sector, as New Home Sales jumped to 654 thousand, marking a 12.4  percent increase. This was the highest number of new home sales since 2008, pointing to strong consumer demand. Will Existing Home Sales follow suit with a strong release? The indicator came in at 5.57 million in June, and the estimate stands at 5.55 million.

Ahead of the Jackson Hole meeting, investors are sticking to the safety of the sidelines, unwilling to make any major moves. This has resulted in a lack of movement in the currency markets so far this week. The conference, which begins on Thursday, will bring together the heads of central banks and other senior financial officials. The markets will be looking for hints from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen regarding the Fed’s monetary plans, particularly the timing a rate hike. FOMC members are expected to express their views in the days leading to the crucial meeting. Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer took the opportunity and sounded upbeat about the US economy, saying that the Fed was close to its aims of a full labor market and the inflation target of 2 percent. The latter claim sounds a bit optimistic, as US inflation levels have consistently been closer to zero than the 2 percent level. Janet Yellen will likely address the inflation issue at Jackson Hole, as inflation levels will be a crucial factor in whether the Fed pulls the rate trigger before 2017. The odds of a September hike are only about 12%, while the likelihood of a December move is around 40%.

AUD/USD Fundamentals

Tuesday (August 23)

  • 9:59 US Richmond Manufacturing Index. Estimate +6 points. Actual -11 points
  • 10:00 US New Home Sales. Estimate 575K. Actual 654K
  • 21:30 Australian Construction Work Done. Estimate -1.9%

Wednesday (August 24)

  • 14:00 US Existing Home Sales. Estimate 5.55M

*All release times are EDT

* Key events are in bold

AUD/USD for Tuesday, August 23, 2016

AUD/USD August 23 at 11:20 EDT

Open: 0.7629 High: 0.7655 Low: 0.7625 Close: 0.7642

AUD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.7339 0.7440 0.7560 0.7701 0.7835 0.7938
  • AUD/USD was flat in the Asian session. The pair posted small gains in the European session and is choppy in North American trade
  • There is resistance at 0.7701
  • 0.7560 is providing strong support
  • Current range: 0.7560 to 0.7701

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 0.7560, 0.7440 and 0.7339
  • Above: 0.7701, 0.7835, 0.7938 and 0.8045

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

AUD/USD ratio is showing limited movement. Currently, short and long positions are almost evenly split, indicative of a lack of trader bias as to what direction AUD/USD 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.