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AUD/USD is currently trading at 0.7144 between a range of 0.7140 and 0.7188. The bulls are losing their grip ad the US dollar bounces back in New York trade. 

The combination of a spike in US yields and jittery summer markets along with the trade war fears have all contributed to a firmer greenback.

The US dollar is being supported today by a rise in US yields following a surprisingly weak bond auction. US 30s are higher by 5.5 bps to 1.428%. 

The US benchmark yield is up 5.20% to 0.7160. 

Meanwhile, the important commodities for the Aussie, such as iron ore and copper are down.

DXY vs SPX to date

However, the dollar fell to its lowest in a week, pressured by overall equity market resilience as well as the impasse over additional stimulus for the US economy to cope with the virus pandemic.

After losing 10% of its value from a peak in March, the dollar index has been bouncing around its lowest levels in more than two years since late July.

The S&P 500 SPX, for which the Aussie has been closely correlated to throughout the corrections in both instruments, remained within striking distance of a record high.

This is despite the news that the US President Donald Trump has accused congressional Democrats of not wanting to negotiate over US coronavirus aid package as Republican and Democratic negotiators traded blame for a five-day lapse in talks over relief legislation.

US trade deal not going to plan

Indeed, the dollar-negative clouds continued to gather over the economy, but that doesn’t rule out a bounce back to victory in the wake of ever-increasingly concerning relations between the US and China.

Not only are both nations increasing military presence in the South China Sea, but phase one deal is not seemingly going to plan.

The US and China will reportedly review the progress of their “phase one” trade deal this Saturday.

CNBC reported that the centrepiece of the phase one trade deal is China’s commitment to buy at least $200 billion more in US goods and services over two years on top of its purchases in 2017.

In the first half of 2020, China bought less than a quarter of the targeted full-year amount of US goods agreed under the deal, according to data compiled by Peterson Institute for International Economics.

That’s not a promising mix and not favourable to the Aussie that acts as a proxy to the trade and currency wars. 

Jobs data may not be the saving grace after all

Meanwhile, the Australian jobs data proved surprisingly upbeat in July ahead of the latest lockdown in Victoria state.

The Aussie firmed to $0.7190 from a low of $0.7109 the day before on the back of the data, still well short of the recent 18-month peak of 0.7242.

  • Official data showed Australian employment jumped 114,700 in July, far above the median forecast of 40,000.
  • The jobless rate rose to 7.5% from 7.4%, again under forecasts of 7.8%, while full-time jobs rose 43,500.

While this all looks great on the surface, the damage done by lockdowns was clear in the number of unemployed which topped 1 million for the first time ever while employment was still 500,000 below its March level.

The latest health restrictions in Victoria will not kick in fully until next months data and the Employment is likely to fall back in August.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) still expects unemployment to rise toward 10% by the end of this year and only decline slowly to 7% by mid-2022.

Additionally, while earlier this month, the bank reiterated it was on hold for the time being, the Aussie can remain under anchored considering the central bank it has stepped up its bond-buying, taking A$5 billion ($3.59 billion) just this week after two months of no purchases at all.  

AUD/USD levels