The Australian dollar continues to push higher in Thursday trading. AUD/USD was trading in the mid-1.05 range early in the North American session. The pair continues to shrug off weak Australian data, as Thursday’s employment numbers were a big disappointment. In the US, The minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting were released which pointed to a split among members as to what steps to take with regard to the current round of quantitative easing. The US will release Unemployment Claims later in the day, in what will be the market’s first look at US numbers this week.
The Australian dollar is looking sharp, as AUD/USD climbed as high as 1.0282 in the European session, before retracting. The Aussie has enjoyed an excellent week, gaining over two cents at the expense of its US counterpart. What is even more impressive is that the Australian currency has rallied despite some poor domestic data this week. On Thursday, Australian Employment Claims were very weak, as the key indicator dropped to a multi-year low, recording a drop of 36.1 thousand jobs. The markets had expected a much more modest loss of 6.7 thousand jobs. Not surprisingly, the Unemployment Rate jumped from 5.4% to 5.6%. The Aussie did lose ground after the employment releases, but has bounced back and continues to move higher.
The Federal Open Market Committee released its meeting minutes on Wednesday, and the most exciting thing about the release was that it was leaked several hours ahead of schedule. The Federal Reserve was not amused, and has ordered an investigation into the matter. The minutes themselves turned out to be a non-event, with policymakers divided as to the extent and duration of the current round of QE. Some members wanted to wind down the program in the middle of 2013, while others felt it was more appropriate to wait until the end of the year. There was also discussion about whether to decrease the amount of asset purchases immediately, or continue the present levels until the end of the year. The division in opinion reflects uncertainty over the extent of the US recovery and the health of the economy. With the US reeling off a host of poor releases throughout April, FOMC members might have had a different take on the QE program had the meeting taken place in April rather than March.
US releases finally got back on track on Thursday, as Unemployment Claims easily beat expectations. The key indicator pointed to 346 thousand claims, a three-week low. The estimate stood at 362 thousand. The US has gone through a prolonged streak of key releases that have missed their estimates, dating back to late March. The markets will be hoping that the good news continues on Friday, as the US releases four key events – Core Retail Sales, PPI and Retail Sales and Consumer Sentiment.
AUD/USD for Thursday, April 11, 2013
AUD/USD April 11 at 14:25 GMT
1.0556 H: 1.0582 L: 1.0501
AUD/USD continues to push higher on Thursday. The pair is facing resistance at 1.0568. This is a weak line, and has already been breached today. It could well see further activity. This is followed by 1.0605, which has held firm since September 2012. On the downside, 1.0508 is providing support. There is a stronger support level at 1.04224.
Current range: 1.0508 to 1.0568.
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 1.0508, 1.0424, 1.0376, 1.0334, 1.0230 and 1.0174.
- Above: 1.0568, 1.0605, 1.0718, 1.0874 and 1.0961.
OANDA’s Open Position Ratios
The AUD/USD ratio is showing significant movement towards short positions. This is not reflected in the current movement of the pair, as the Aussie continues to post gains. However, it could be an early indicator that the pair will undergo a correction and the US dollar will reverse direction. The ratio continues to be marked by majority of short positions.
AUD/USD continues to shrug off weak Australian data, as it barrels higher. Will the upward momentum continue? After a quiet week ,the US is in full action on Friday, with three key releases. This could well affect the movement of AUD/USD, so we could see some more volatility from the pair before the trading week is over.
- 1:00 Australian MI Inflation Expectations. Actual 2.2%.
- 1:30 Australian Employment Change. Estimate -6.7K. Actual -361.K.
- 1:30 Australian Unemployment Rate. Estimate 5.4%. Actual 5.4%.
- 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 362K. Actual 346K.
- 12:30 US Import Prices. Estimate -0.4%. Actual -0.5%.
- 12:30 US FOMC Member James Bullard Speaks.
- 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -12B. Actual -14B.
- 17:00 US 30-year Bond Auction.
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT
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