Aussie edges lower as business confidence slips

The Australian dollar has declined by 0.28% on Tuesday. AUD/USD is trading at 0.6600 in the European session, down 0.16% on the day. On the data calendar, Australian NAB business confidence was weak and there are no economic releases out of the US.

Australian business confidence falls to six-month low

Australia’s NAB business confidence index slipped to -3 in May, down from a revised 2 in April and shy of the forecast of zero. This was the first negative reading since January and its worst performance since December 2023. The results suggest that sluggish economic conditions have continued into the second quarter.

It is difficult to see the business sector showing more optimism until the Reserve Bank of Australia delivers a rate cut, which might not happen until late in the year or early 2025. Inflation has been stubbornly high and Governor Bullock has said that if the downtrend in inflation stalls, the central bank could raise rates. This is an unlikely scenario but illustrates that the RBA remains hawkish and rate cuts are not around the corner.

Wednesday will be busy in the US, with the release of the May inflation report and the Fed rate announcement. Headline CPI is expected to remain unchanged at 3.4% y/y while Core CPI is projected to drop from 3.6% to 3.5%. . Inflation remains a headache for the Federal Reserve as bringing it down to the 2% target as proven elusive.

The Fed is virtually certain to hold the benchmark rate at 5.25% to 5.50% and the markets will be looking for clues as to future rate cuts. A quarter-point cut in September is around a 50/50 likelihood, according to the CME FedWatch.

AUD/USD Technical

  • AUD/USD is putting pressure on resistance at 0.6619. Above, there is resistance at 0.6660.
  • 0.6540 and 0.6499 are the next support levels

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

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