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AUD/USD – Aussie Steady as Fed Minutes Eyed

The currency markets are in a holding pattern on Wednesday, ahead of the much-anticipated Federal Reserve policy statement later in the day. Early in the North American session, the pair is trading in the mid-0.93 range. In economic releases, Australian MI Leading Index looked weak, posting its first decline in eight months. Over in the US, Current Account disappointed, as the deficit shot higher in May. Today’s highlight is the Federal Reserve policy statement and follow-up press conference.

All eyes are on the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, as the US central bank will release a policy statement later in the day. The Fed is expected to trim its QE program by another $10 billion, which would reduce the asset purchase scheme to $35 billion/month. The big question is when the Fed will raise interest rates, but Fed chair Janet Yellen is unlikely to shed much light on that issue. If, as expected, QE is wound up in 2014, we could see a rate hike in the first half of 2015. However, cuts to QE are dependent on the health of the US economy, which continues to move in the right direction, despite some bumps in the road.

Australian Leading Indexes were listless in May, and point to a slowdown in the economy. The MI Leading Index managed a paltry gain of 0.1%, its highest level in 2014. The CB Leading Index posted a decline of 0.1%, its worst showing since last September. Australia’s key export sector is being squeezed by falling commodity prices while the high Australian dollar is making Australian goods less competitive on global markets. At the same time, consumer confidence and spending remains at very low levels. If key economic data points downward, the high-flying Aussie could lose ground.

The news out of the US was mixed on Tuesday. Building Permits dropped to 0.99M, well below the estimate of 1.07M. On the inflation front, CPI moved up modestly, posting a gain of 0.3%. This was the strongest gain we’ve seen since January 2013. CPI followed suit, climbing to an eleven-month high. The index rose to 0.4%, beating the estimate of 0.2%.

 

AUD/USD for Wednesday, June 18, 2014

AUD/USD June 18 at 13:50 GMT

AUD/USD 0.9343 H: 0.9347 L: 0.9328

 

AUD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.9000 0.9119 0.9229 0.9361 0.9446 0.9617

 

Further levels in both directions:

 

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

AUD/USD ratio is pointing to gains in long positions in Wednesday trading. This is consistent with the movement of the pair, as the Australian dollar has posted small gains. The pair is close to an even split between open and short positions, indicative of a lack of trader bias towards the future movement of AUD/USD.

AUD/USD is showing little movement on Wednesday. The pair is unchanged in the North American session.

 

AUD/USD Fundamentals

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are GMT

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 [4]

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse [5]
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.