AUD/USD posted slight gains last week. The upcoming week has six events, including key employment numbers. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.
In Australia, the AIG Manufacturing Index improved to 53.5, up from 51.5. A reading above the 50-level separates expansion from contraction. Australia continues to post strong surpluses. The surplus improved to AUD 8.20 billion, up from AUD 8.03 billion. The Reserve Bank of Australia held rates at 0.25%, where it has been pegged since March. The bank’s rate statement noted that although the worst of the global contraction has now passed, the economic outlook remains highly uncertain.
There was good news from the US manufacturing sector, as the ISM Manufacturing PMI improved to 54.2 in June, up from 53.6 beforehand. A reading above the 50-level points to expansion. US employment data was stronger than expected. Nonfarm payrolls slowed to 1.76 million, down from 4.8 million beforehand. Still, this beat the forecast of 1.53 million. Wage growth beat the estimate of -0.5% with a gain of 0.2%, after two straight declines. As well the unemployment rate fell from11.1% to 10.2%, beating the estimate of 10.5%.
- NAB Business Confidence: Tuesday, 1:30. The National Australia Bank indicator continues to head higher and pushed into positive territory for the first time since October. The July read of 1 was a strong improvement from the reading of -20 beforehand. Will we see another read in positive territory?
- Westpac Consumer Sentiment: Wednesday, 00:30. Consumer confidence fell by 6.1% in June, after two successive gains. Will we see a rebound in the upcoming release?
- Wage Price Index: Wednesday, 1:30. The index has remained unchanged at 0.5% for the past three quarters. Wage prices are expected to slow to 0.3% in the second quarter.
- MI Inflation Expectations: Thursday, 1:00. The Melbourne Institute indicator is a useful inflation gauge, as expectations of inflation can translate into actual inflation figures. The indicator continues to lose ground and slowed to 3.2% in June, down from 3.3% beforehand. This was the lowest level since July 2019. We now await the July data.
- Employment Report: Thursday, 1:30. Job creation rebounded in June, with a reading of 210.8 thousand. This follows a loss of 227.7 thousand jobs in May. The July gain is expected to be much smaller, at 30.0 thousand. The unemployment rate shot up to 7.4% in June, up from 7.1% a month earlier. Analysts are braced for a rise to 7.8% in July.
- Phillip Lowe speaks: Thursday, 23:30. Governor Lowe will testify before the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Economics. If Lowe’s remarks are unexpectedly hawkish, the Aussie could gain ground. The strength of the employment releases could determine the fortunes of the Australian dollar this week.
AUD/USD Technical Analysis
Technical lines from top to bottom:
We start with resistance at 0.7513, which has held since June 2018.
The round number of 0.74 is next.
0.7315 has held since December 2018.
0.7250 is next.
0.7165 is an immediate resistance line.
0.7056 is providing support.
0.6983 is next.
0.6825 (mentioned last week) switched to support in early June, when AUD/USD started its current rally. It is the final support line for now.
I am neutral on AUD/USD
The Aussie has enjoyed a tremendous streak, but the gains have been very limited in August. Is the Aussie’s rally over? The strength of the upcoming job releases will have a strong impact on the fortunes of AUD/USD this week.
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