AUD/USD is showing little movement on Monday, as the pair is trading in the mid-0.81 range late in the European session. In the US, there is only one release today, Existing Home Sales. The only Australian release today is the RBA Bulletin, a minor event.
In the US, employment numbers continued to impress last week, as unemployment claims dropped to 289 thousand, the lowest level in six weeks. The easily beat the estimate of 297 thousand. The news was not as good on the manufacturing front, as the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index slid to 24.5 points, down from 40.6 points in November. The November reading was unusually high, and the markets had expected a sharp downturn, with the estimate standing at 26.3 points.
The Australian dollar recorded sharp losses after Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy statement. Previous Fed policy statements have usually stated that the Fed would maintain low rates for a “considerable time”, but the December statement changed terminology, saying the Fed would be “patient” before raising rates. In a follow-press conference, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen was less ambiguous, saying that the Fed was unlikely to raise rates for the “next couple of meetings”. The markets took this to mean that a rate hike is in the works, but not before April. The Aussie took a hit after the news, losing about 100 points to the US dollar on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the RBA released the minutes of its last policy meeting and policymakers took note of expectations in the market of a rate cut. The markets took this as a hint of a possible cut sometime in 2015, which puts the RBA on a divergent monetary stance to that of the Federal Reserve and the BOE, both of which are expected to raise rates next year. The minutes also noted that the central bank still considers the Aussie overvalued, especially with the recent declines in key commodity prices. Although the Aussie has dropped 12% since early September, the RBA minutes noted that the currency needed to drop further in order to achieve “balanced growth”. Last week, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens underscored this point, noting that he would like to see the Australian dollar at 75 US cents.
AUD/USD for Monday, December 22, 2014
AUD/USD December 22 at 16:40 GMT
AUD/USD 0.8139 H: 0.8173 L: 0.8132
- AUD/USD edged higher in the Asian session, testing resistance at 0.8150. The pair reversed directions and gave up these gains in the European session. AUD/USD is unchanged in North American trade.
- On the upside, 0.8150 is under pressure and this line could break in the North American session. 0.8214 is stronger.
- 0.8081 is an immediate support level.
- Current range: 0.8081 to 0.8150.
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 0.8081, 0.7904 and 0.7799
- Above: 0.8150, 0.8214, 0.8315, 0.8456 and 0.8550
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
AUD/USD ratio is pointing to gains in long positions on Monday. This is not consistent with the pair, which is almost unchanged on the day. The ratio has a majority of long positions, indicative of trader bias towards AUD/USD moving higher.
- 15:00 US Existing Home Sales. 5.21M.
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT