AUD/USD – Labor Miss Derails Bull Train

The recent rally in AUD/USD was stopped abruptly due to a surprising decline in employment numbers for the month of August. Headline Employment Change fell by 10.8K versus an expected increase of 10.0K, driving unemployment rate up from 5.7% to 5.8%. This increase in unemployment rate came in spite of a fall in participation rate from 65.1% to 65.0%, with the diagnosis likely that many Australians are unable to find job and have simply given up. This is not the usual diagnosis as participation rate is never static, with slight volatility generally expected. But when we couple this together with the falling employment number, such assertion becomes more reasonable. This is not a good sign for Australia’s economy, and suggest that the slowdown in economy is continuing.

Hourly Chart


This is definitely bearish for Aussie Dollar, but the post announcement reaction is much more than what we ordinarily expect from a disappointing economic news. Certainly the disappointment is huge, standing at rank 8th in terms of under-expectation when we compare monthly data since 2007. However, it seems that there are many other factors at play as well. Technical bears come straight to mind, with prices likely being depressed further with traders playing the Channel Breakout which is further fueled when prices push below 0.928 soft support. As recent rally has a huge element of short squeezing, it is possible that traders who are still bearish in the long-run saw this as an opportunity t re-enter as a sign that the short squeeze is over.

Technically, Stochastic readings are at is most Oversold in recent weeks, but readings are not yet reversing, suggesting that current bearish momentum may still yet continue. It is possible price may find support around 0.9225 – 0.923 the  short consolidation region found on 9th Sept. If price continue to stay under 0.928 despite the rebound, we could see further bearish move lower in the remainder of the week.

Weekly Chart


Weekly Chart is bearish again with price trading back within the consolidation zone, which opens up Channel Bottom as a viable bearish target. However, as the week has yet ended, we should avoid getting ahead of ourselves and risk false moves. A more conservative method would be to wait for Monday’s reaction should price close below the 0.93 ceiling for the week. If early Monday action is heavily bearish, the probability of price hitting consolidation floor of 0.89 increases greatly.

With Fed expected to introducing QE Tapering measures in 2013 and stopping stimulus in 2014, USD is slated to strengthen further. This will add further downside pressure for the already beleaguered AUD. However, should FOMC meeting next week does not result in the introduction of the 1st tapering action, USD may suddenly weaken in the short-term which may sent prices above 0.93. However that doesn’t change the dynamics of AUD, which is still looking bearish. Hence traders who may wish to avoid USD volatility may wish to explore other crosses. AUD/NZD immediately comes to mind and may be a good alternative especially given that RBNZ has just suggested that rate hikes will be coming in 2014.

More Links:
EUR/USD – Pushes up to Two Week High above 1.33
AUD/USD – Moves to Highest Level since June near 0.9350
GBP/USD – Surges to Seven Month High above 1.58

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.

Mingze Wu

Mingze Wu

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Based in Singapore, Mingze Wu focuses on trading strategies and technical and fundamental analysis of major currency pairs. He has extensive trading experience across different asset classes and is well-versed in global market fundamentals. In addition to contributing articles to MarketPulseFX, Mingze centers on forex and macro-economic trends impacting the Asia Pacific region.
Mingze Wu