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  • AUD/USD is trading in a relatively narrow range on Thursday.
  • US Dollar Index builds on this week’s gains, edges higher toward 91.50.
  • Focus shifts to mid-tier macroeconomic data releases from US.

The AUD/USD pair gained traction during the Asian trading hours on Thursday and touched a daily top of 0.7648 before losing its momentum. As of writing, the pair was still up 0.15% on a daily basis at 0.7629.

AUD recovers on the back of strong data, vaccine headlines

Earlier in the day, the data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Exports in December increased by 3% and Imports contracted by 2%, lifting the Trade Balance up to AUD6.7 billion from AUD5 billion in November.

In addition to the upbeat data, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that they will be purchasing another 10 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine and provided an additional boost to the AUD.

Nevertheless, the unabated USD strength amid the heavy selling pressure surrounding the EUR made it difficult for AUD/USD to extend its rebound. 

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback’s performance against a basket of six major currencies, is currently at its highest level in more than two months, rising 0.28% on the day at 91.42. Later in the session, the US Department of Labor will publish its weekly Initial Jobless Claims data. Fourth-quarter Unit Labor Costs and December Factory Orders will be featured in the US economic docket as well. 

Technical levels to watch for