The Australian dollar has reversed directions and is in negative territory on Wednesday. In the European session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.7724, down 0.36% on the day.
Australian GDP rises 1.8% in Q1
Australia’s economy rose 1.8% (QoQ) in the first quarter of the year, down from 3.2% in Q4. This was above the consensus of 1.5%. The level of economic activity currently is 0.8% above the fourth quarter 2019 pre-pandemic level, as the recovery continues to deepen. On an annual basis, GDP climbed 1.1%, rebounding from the -1.0% read in Q4.
The solid growth in Q1 reflects the continuing easing of health restrictions and the recovery in the employment market. Still, the positive numbers failed to impress investors, as the Australian dollar is down considerably in Thursday trade.
The market will get another snapshot of the strength of the economy on Thursday, with the release of Retail Sales (1:30 GMT). The preliminary estimate for Retail Sales in April came in at 1.1%, and an identical gain is projected for the final reading. As well, the country’s trade balance is expected to widen to AUD7.90 billion, up from AUD5.57 billion.
No surprises from RBA
The RBA did not make any waves at its monthly policy meeting on Wednesday, as the bank maintained its policy settings. There is some unfinished business on the plate of RBA policymakers, as the bank will decide in July whether to implement further QE. The RBA statement did not provide any clues as to what the RBA is planning to do come July. The statement noted that “despite the strong recovery in the economy and jobs, inflation and wage pressures are subdued” and added a typical message that the bank is “committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions”. Any hints from the RBA about QE could have a significant effect on the movement of the Australian dollar.
- On the upside, 0.7727 is under pressure. Above, there is resistance at 0.7777
- On the downside, there are support levels at 0.7658 and 0.7608
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar. www.marketpulse.com/economic-event 
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