AUD/USD has lost ground on Wednesday, as the pair trades in the mid-0.82 range early in the North American session. On the release front, Australian Employment Change was unexpectedly strong, posting a gain of 42.7 thousand. However, the unemployment rate edged up to 6.3%. MI Inflation dropped to 3.4%, down from 4.1% a month earlier. Over in the US, there was positive news as all three key events beat expectations. Core Retail Sales posted a 0.5% gain, while Retail Sales climbed 0.7%. Unemployment Claims impressed, dipping to 294 thousand.
The Aussie continues to struggle, and mixed employment data sent the currency lower on Thursday. Employment Change jumped 42.7 thousand, marking a 3-month high. This crushed the estimate of 15.2 thousand. However, the unemployment rate edged up from 6.2% to 6.3%, matching the forecast. With the economy struggling, confidence numbers have headed south. Westpac Consumer Sentiment stumbled in December, dropping to 96.6 points, down from 91.1 points a month earlier. NAB Business Confidence continued to tailspin as the key indicator slipped to 1 point in November. This marks the fourth straight month that the indicator has weakened. This has led to speculation that the RBA may be forced to lower rates in 2015, as the export-based economy has been hit hard by a prolonged global slowdown. Economic activity has slowed, as GDP dropped to 0.3% in Q3, its worst showing in over three years. This means that we can expect the struggling Aussie to remain under pressure.
US retail sales reports, the primary gauge of consumer spending, looked sharp in November. Core Retail Sales came in at 0.5%, ahead of the estimate of 0.1%. Not to be undone, Retail Sales posted a gain of 0.7%, beating the estimate of 0.4%. This was the indicator’s strongest showing in 12 months. There was more good news on the job front, as Unemployment Claims dipped to 294 thousand, below the forecast of 299 thousand. On Friday, the US will release PPI and UoM Consumer Sentiment, so it could be a busy day for AUD/USD.
AUD/USD for Thursday, December 11, 2014
AUD/USD December 11 at 15:10 GMT
AUD/USD 0.8261 H: 0.8379 L: 0.8316
- AUD/USD posted gains early in the Asian session, testing resistance at 0.8315. The pair reversed directions in the European session, posting sharp losses. In North American trade, the pair is unchanged.
- 0.8214 is a weak support level. 0.8150 is stronger.
- 0.8315 is an immediate resistance line.
- Current range: 0.8214 to 0.8315.
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 0.8214, 0.8150, 0.8081 and 0.7904
- Above: 0.8315, 0.8456, 0.8550, 0.8668 and 0.8763
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
AUD/USD ratio is pointing to gains on Thursday. This is not consistent with the pair’s movement, as the Australian dollar has posted losses. The ratio has a majority of long positions, indicative of trader bias towards AUD/USD reversing directions and moving higher.
- 00:00 Australian MI Inflation Expectations. Actual 3.4%.
- 00:00 Australian Employment Change. Estimate 15.2K. Actual 42.7K.
- 00:00 Australian Unemployment Rate. Estimate 6.3%. Actual 6.3%.
- 13:30 US Core Retail Sales. Estimate 0.1%. Actual 0.4%.
- 13:30 US Retail Sales. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.7%.
- 13:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 299K. Actual 294K.
- 13:30 US Import Prices. Estimate -1.7%. Actual -1.5%.
- 15:00 US Business Inventories. Estimate 0.2%. Actual 0.2%.
- 15:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -45B. Actual -51B.
- 18:01 US 30-year Bond Auction.
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT