AUD/USD is almost unchanged on Monday, as the pair trades in the mid-0.77 range. It’s a very quiet day on the release front, with US markets closed for Presidents Day. In Australia, the sole event is New Motor Vehicle Sales. The indicator, an important gauge of consumer spending, posted a sharp decline of 1.5%.
US releases wrapped up a disappointing week on a sour note, as the UoM Consumer Sentiment slipped for the first time in five months. The key indicator dropped to 93.6 points, down sharply from 98.2 in the previous report. On Thursday, retail sales and jobless numbers softened. Core Retail Sales declined by 0.9%, while Retail Sales dropped by 0.8%. Both indicators were well off their estimates of -0.4%. There was no relief from unemployment claims, which jumped to 304 thousand, compared to 284 thousand in the previous reading. The markets had expected a stronger reading of 282 thousand.
On Thursday, Governor Glenn Stevens said that economic growth remains lower than the RBA would like and that lowering interest rates may not be enough to spur growth. The RBA shocked the markets with a rate cut of 0.25% last week, lowering rates to 2.25%. Monetary divergence with the US will likely keep the Australian dollar at low levels, as the US Federal Reserve, which will likely raise rates later in the year, is headed in the opposite direction.
Underscoring the RBA’s concerns about the economy, Australian employment data softened in January. Employment Change dropped by 12.2 thousand, well off the estimate of -4.7 thousand. This marked the first decline since September. The employment rate was unexpectedly higher, climbing to 6.4%, up from 6.1% a month earlier. The estimate stood at 6.2%.
AUD/USD for Monday, February 16, 2015
AUD/USD February 16 at 14:50 GMT
AUD/USD 0.7764 H: 0.7795 L: 0.7764
- AUD/USD has showed little movement on Monday, as resistance at 0.7799 remains under pressure.
- 0.7799 remains a weak resistance line. 0.7904 is stronger.
- 0.7684 is an immediate support level.
- Current range: 0.7684 to 0.7799
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 0.7684, 0.7582, 0.7403 and 0.7265
- Above: 0.7799, 0.7904, 0.8081, 0.8150 and 0.8214
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
AUD/USD ratio is almost unchanged on Monday. This is consistent with the lack of movement we’re seeing from the pair. The ratio has a majority of long positions, indicative of trader bias towards the Australian dollar moving higher.
- 00:30 Australian New Motor Vehicle Sales. Actual -1.5%.
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT