AUD/USD Forecast Aug. 3-7 – Aussie hits 18-mth high

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AUD/USD posted slight gains, as the pair recorded a winning week for a sixth consecutive time. The pair climbed as high as 0.7227, its highest level since February 2018. The upcoming week has eight events, including retail sales and the RBA rate decision. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

AUD/USD eased from recent highs after the Q2 CPI fell 1.9%, close to the forecast of -2.0%. This marked the first decline since 2016, as Covid-19 has flattened economic activity. In China, Manufacturing PMI ticked higher to 51.1, up from 50.9 beforehand, This marked the highest reading since August 2018.

In the US, it was mostly a disappointing week. Durable goods data softened in June. The headline came in at 7.3%, down from 15.8%. The core reading fell from 4.0% to 3.3%. The Fed maintained the benchmark rate at zero and had a dovish market for the markets, as expected.  Policymakers reiterated their commitment to “act as appropriate to support the economy”, but did not announce any new policy measures.
The initial GDP read for Q2 was dismal. The economy contracted by 32.9%, close to the estimate of 34.5%. The week ended with UoM Consumer Sentiment falling to 72.5, down sharply from 78.1 beforehand.
AUD/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
  1. AIG Manufacturing Index: Sunday, 22:30. In June, the manufacturing index punched past the 50-level, which separates contraction from expansion. The index improved to 51.5. Will the upswing continue in July?
  2. MI Inflation Gauge: Monday, 1:00. The Melbourne Institute inflation indicator helps analysts track inflation on a monthly basis. as CPI is only released each quarter. In July, the indicator gained 0.6%, ending two straight declines. We now await the July numbers.
  3. Retail Sales: Tuesday, 1:30. Retail sales slowed to just 2.4%, after two consecutive gains above 16%. Another gain of 2.4% is expected in the June release. 
  4. Trade Balance: Tuesday, 1:30. As the Australian economy is highly dependent on trade, this indicator is closely watched. In May, the trade surplus dipped to A$8.03 billion, down from $8.80 billion. The June forecast stands at A$8.80 billion.
  5. RBA Rate Decision: Tuesday, 4:30. The RBA is projected to maintain interest rates at 0.25%, where they have been pegged since March. Investors will be paying close attention to the tone of the rate statement. Recent statements from senior government officials have acknowledged that the economy is struggling, and a dovish message from the RBA could dampen enthusiasm for the Aussie.
  6. AIG Construction Index: Tuesday, 22:30. The construction sector remains in contraction, but the rate of contraction eased, as the index rose from 24.9 to 35.5 in June.  Will the improvement continue in July?
  7. AIG Services Index: Thursday, 22:30. The services sector has been hit hard by Covid-19, and the index has recorded readings pointing to sharp contraction. The index was almost unchanged in June, with a reading of 31.5. Will we see an improvement in July?
  8. RBA Monetary Policy Statement: Friday, 1:30. The RBA releases a policy statement each quarter. A dovish statement could sour investors on the Aussie, which has sparkled against the greenback in recent months.

AUD/USD Technical Analysis

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with resistance at the round number of 0.74. This is followed by 0.7315.

0.7250 has been a resistance line since February 2019.

0.7165 was tested during the week. It is an immediate resistance line.

0.7056 is providing support.

0.6983 is next.

0.6825 (mentioned last week) switched to resistance in early June, when AUD/USD started its current rally.

0.6744 is the final support line for now.

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I remain bullish on AUD/USD

Although the Australian economy is limping badly, the Aussie continues to do well, as the US dollar has retreated against the major currencies. The Aussie’s positive momentum could well continue this week.

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Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.

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