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AUD/USD – Aussie Slide Continues as Australian Employment Change Dips

The Australian dollar has posted slight losses on Thursday, as AUD/USD trades at 0.6913 in the European session. On the release front, Australian Employment Change declined by 1,000, while the Unemployment Rate remained steady at 5.8%. We’ll get a look at Australian Home Loans later in the day. In the US, the key event on the schedule is Unemployment Claims, with the estimate standing at 275 thousand.

The Aussie has started off the New Year in dismal fashion, as AUD/USD has plunged almost 300 points in January. The pair has slipped below the symbolic 0.70 level and is currently trading at 4-month lows. The risky Australian dollar has been hit hard by recent events in China, with the Chinese stock market meltdown and the devaluation of the Chinese yuan. Geopolitical tensions in Korea, the Persian Gulf and Indonesia have also contributed to significant movement away from minor currencies like the Aussie, helping the US dollar to continue pushing higher. December employment data from Australia was decent, but failed to stop the Aussie’s slide. Employment Change declined by 1000, but this was much better than the estimate of 11,000. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8%. With investors remaining jittery about China and geopolitical tensions, there is little appetite for risk and the Australian dollar’s descent could continue.

In a historic move, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December for the first time in nine years, and hinted that this move was the first of a series in 2016. Not surprisingly, this has led to intense market speculation as to when the Fed might strike again. A rate hike in late January is not seen as likely, coming so soon after the December move. Many experts are forecasting another hike in March, contingent on a strong US economy. Although the economy is in good shape, one major area of concern is the inflation picture. Inflation levels have not kept up with other economic indicators and remain at low levels. The minutes of the December meeting indicated that some Fed members strongly considered voting against a rate hike due to weak inflation. Another concern is a lack of wage growth, despite a robust labor market. This was underscored by the last Average Hourly Earnings report, which came in at a flat 0.0% in December. The Fed will be carefully monitoring inflation and wage growth data before deciding to raise rates again early in 2016.

AUD/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (Jan. 13)

Thursday (Jan. 14)

Upcoming Key Events

Friday (Jan. 15)

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are EST

AUD/USD for Thursday, January 14, 2016

AUD/USD January 14 at 6:40 EST

AUD/USD Open: 0.6935  Low: 0.6916  High: 0.6973  Close: 0.6916

AUD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.6625 0.6754 0.6848 0.6931 0.7063 0.7100

Further levels in both directions:

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

AUD/USD ratio has reversed directions and is showing movement towards long positions. Long positions command a majority of positions (61%), indicative of trader bias towards the pair continuing to move higher.

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]

Market Analyst at OANDA [5]
A highly experienced financial market analyst with a focus on fundamental analysis, Kenneth Fisher’s daily commentary covers a broad range of markets including forex, equities and commodities. His work has been published in several major online financial publications including Investing.com, Seeking Alpha and FXStreet. Based in Israel, Kenny has been a MarketPulse contributor since 2012.
Kenny Fisher

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