The Australian dollar is steady on Wednesday, as AUD/USD trades at 0.7260 in the North American session. In the US, it’s a busy day ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Unemployment Claims and Core Durable Goods posted strong readings, but UoM Consumer Sentiment missed expectations. Australian Construction Work Done posted a weak reading of -3.6%. On Thursday, we’ll get a look at Australian Private Capital Expenditure.
The US released several key releases on Wednesday, to mixed reviews. Unemployment Claims plunged to 260 thousand, well off the estimate of 273 thousand. There was more good news from Core Durable Goods, which rebounded with a strong gain of 0.5%, matching the forecast. UoM Consumer Sentiment improved to 91.3 points, but the markets were overly optimistic, as the estimate stood at 93.2 points. This consumer confidence indicator comes on the heels of CB Consumer Confidence, which dropped to 90.4 points, nowhere close to the estimate of 99.3 points. These weak consumer confidence readings could raise concerns, as soft consumer confidence numbers could translate into weaker consumer spending, which is a key driver of economic growth.
There were no surprises from US Preliminary GDP in the third quarter. The revised GDP report came in at 2.1%, very close to the Advanced GDP reading of 2.0%. Although these numbers pale in comparison to the blistering 3.7% we saw in Q2, they nonetheless point to respectable growth by the US economy in a difficult global environment. The positive GDP release means that a rate hike at the December policy meeting remains a strong possibility.
The Federal Reserve will next meet in December, and the guessing game continues regarding a possible rate increase. The Fed hinted at a rate hike in its October policy statement, and the markets have been abuzz ever since. Last week, New York Fed President William Dudley said there is a “strong case” for a rate hike in December as long as economic data remains strong. At the past two policy meetings, the vote against a rate hike was 9-1, but that clearly will not be the outcome at the December meeting. With the US economy posting mostly solid numbers, the markets appear prepared for a small hike of 0.25% or 0.50%, and there is a growing view that modest, incremental moves would not cause turbulence on the global markets. One fly in the ointment is that of persistently weak inflation levels, as the Fed has repeatedly stated that inflation is a key consideration in any decision to raise rates. With the critical Fed meeting only a few weeks away, every key indicator and comment from Fed members will be under close scrutiny from the markets.
Wednesday (Nov. 25)
- 00:30 Australian Construction Work Done. Estimate -1.8%. Actual -3.6%
- 10:20 RBA Assistant Governor Guy Debelle Speaks
- 13:30 US Core Durable Goods Orders. Estimate 0.5%. Actual 0.5%
- 13:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 273K. Actual 260K
- 13:30 US Core PCE Price Index. Estimate 0.1%. Actual 0.0%
- 13:30 US Durable Goods Orders. Estimate 1.6%. Actual 3.0%
- 13:30 US Personal Spending. Estimate 0.3%. Actual 0.1%
- 13:30 US Personal Income. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.4%
- 14:00 US HPI. Estimate 0.5%. Actual 0.8%
- 14:45 US Flash Services PMI. Estimate 55.2 points. Actual 56.5 points
- 15:00 US New Home Sales. Estimate 500K. Actual 495K
- 15:00 US Revised UoM Consumer Sentiment. Estimate 93.2 points. Actual 91.3 points
- 15:00 US Revised UoM Inflation Expectations. Actual 2.7%
- 15:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 1.2M. Actual 1.0M
- 17:00 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 5B
Upcoming Key Events
Thursday (Nov. 26)
- 00:30 Australian Private Capital Expenditure. Estimate -2.8%
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT
AUD/USD for Wednesday, November 25, 2015
AUD/USD November 25 at 17:10 GMT
AUD/USD 0.7256 H: 0.7283 L: 0.7227
- AUD/USD posted small gains in the Asian session but then reversed directions in European trade. The pair has reversed directions again and has posted gains in the North American session.
- 0.7213 is a weak support line.
- 0.7440 remains a strong resistance line.
- Current range: 0.7213 to 0.7440
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 0.7213, 0.7100, 0.7063 and 0.7000
- Above: 0.7440, 0.7526 and 0.7644
OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio
AUD/USD ratio is showing little movement, consistent with the lack of significant movement from the pair. Long and short positions remain close to an even split. This is indicative of a lack of trader bias as to what direction the pair will take next.