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AUD/USD posted losses last week, the fifth straight week that the pair has headed lower. The upcoming week has four events. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.
The RBA released the minutes of the August meeting, in which rate-setters held the benchmark rate at 1.0%. The minutes reiterated that the bank intends to hold the course on monetary policy. Market reaction towards the minutes was muted, as the investors do not expect another rate cut in the short term.
The Fed minutes provided details of the July meeting, in which the Fed cut rates by 25 basis points, the first rate cut in 10 years. FOMC members said that the cut was intended to stimulate inflation and business investment. The Fed was deeply divided over the July cut, with two members in favor of no change, while another two sought a 1/2 percentage cut. With economic conditions looking cloudy, investors are braced for up to three more rate cuts this year, possibly as early as September.
Is the U.S. heading into a recession? There are disturbing signs that this could indeed be the case. Some analysts are predicting that third-quarter growth could drop to just 1.5%, and the August Manufacturing PMI set off some alarm bells, falling into contraction territory for the first time since September 2009. Although the reading of 49.9 was just a shade lower than the previous reading of 50.0, a reading in contraction territory makes the headlines and causes jitters among investors. As well, this marks the seventh successive month the index has lost ground. There wasn’t much relief in the services sector, as the services PMI slowed to 50.9, down from 52.2 a month earlier.
AUD/USD daily graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
  1. Construction Work Done: Wednesday, 1:30. This quarterly indicator has posted three successive declines, pointing to weakness in the construction sector. In Q1, the indicator dropped by 1.9%, well below the forecast of a 0.1% gain. Another decline is expected in Q2, with an estimate of -1.0%.
  2. Private Capital Expenditure: Thursday, 1:30. The all-important quarterly measure reflects investment levels and is closely watched by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The indicator declined by 1.7% in Q1, marking its third decline in four quarters. The forecast for Q2 stands at 0.4%.
  3. Building Approvals: Friday, 1:30. Building approvals tends to show strong fluctuation, making accurate forecasts difficult. The June reading of -1.2% was much weaker than the forecast of 0.2%. The July estimate stands at zero.
  4. Chinese Manufacturing PMI: Saturday, 1:00. The Chinese manufacturing sector continues to struggle, as the bitter trade war with the U.S. has taken its toll on the Chinese economy. The July release came in at 49.7, just short of the 50-level, which separates contraction and expansion. No change is expected in the August release.

*All times are GMT

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with resistance at 0.7165. This line has held since early April.

0.7085 was a low point in September. 0.7022 is next.

0.6988 marked the low point in April.

0.6865 is next.

0.6825 (mentioned  last week) is the next resistance line. It was under pressure last week.

0.6744 remains relevant. It was tested in support during the week and ended the week as a weak support line.

0.6686 was a cap back in January 2000.

0.6627 has held in support since March 2009. 0.6532 is next.

0.6456 follows.

0.6341 has held in support since 2003.


I remain bearish on AUD/USD

Investor risk appetite has dampened, as there are growing concerns that the U.S. could be heading into a recession. This will lower sentiment towards risk currencies like the Aussie. Trade tensions remain high between the U.S. and China, as both nations are set to slap the other with additional tariffs. These moves will likely hurt the Australian economy, particularly the manufacturing sector.

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