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  • AUD/USD prints mild intraday gains while bouncing off seven-week low.
  • AstraZeneca unveiled 76% vaccine efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19.
  • Light calendar, lack of major risk news trigger consolidative moves.

 AUD/USD picks up bids near 0.7600, up 0.19% intraday, after recently refreshing the day’s peak to 0.7604 during early Thursday. The aussie pair dropped to the lowest since early February during the risk-off mood the previous day. However, a lack of major bearish catalysts afterward helped traders to cheer on AstraZeneca news and portray a corrective pullback.

AstraZeneca recently confirmed the efficacy of its vaccines to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its variants during the phase 3 trials. The official updates confirmed 100% efficacy against severe and critical disease as well as 85% efficacy for those aged 65+. Although the 76% efficacy for the covid variants was lower than Monday’s 79% mark, the update could be considered sentiment-positive as the previous release were rejected to the error in research. Also posing the vaccine’s trial results as an upbeat catalyst are the concerns over AstraZeneca’s usage in Europe.

Elsewhere, China is likely to witness another blow from the US as American securities regulator prepares for further tightening of rules for the foreign firms, targeted towards Beijing. Also on the risk-negative side could be North Korea’s firing of two missiles that couldn’t hurt Japan.

It should be noted that the chatters surrounding extra stimulus from US President Joe Biden and the extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) beyond the March 31 expiry might have offered a bounce to the market sentiment off-late.

Against this backdrop, S&P 500 Futures print 0.12% intraday gains whereas the US 10-year Treasury yield pauses the three-day downtrend around 1.62% by the press time.

Given the lack of major data/events, AUD/USD traders should keep their eyes on the risk catalyst ahead of the US GDP announcement.

Read:  The February Grab-Bag Preview: Personal Income, Spending, Core PCE Prices and GDP

Technical analysis

Unless providing a decisive break above 100-day SMA, near 0.7615 by the press time, AUD/USD remains vulnerable to drop towards February lows, also the yearly bottom, surrounding 0.7560.