The Australian dollar fell quite sharply in a week that saw trade worries taking over. The week is full of top-tier events in Australia, with the rate decision and GDP standing out. Here are the highlights of the week and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.
The surprising decision by Trump to impose tariffs may have only a minor immediate effect on Australia but the fear of a trade war weighed on the Australian dollar. Moreover, private capital expenditure fell in Q4, worse than had been expected.Updates:
- Mar 12, 19:21: Tech Targets: EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/JPY – UOB: US wages are slow and inflation may be coming or not. What’s next for currencies? Here are the technical levels...
AUD/USD daily graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
- AIG Services Index: Sunday, 21:30. The Australian Industry Group’s measure for the services sector has shown steady growth in the past few months. A score of 54.9 was seen in January and it was followed by a slide to 54 points.
- MI Inflation Gauge: Monday, 00:00. Australia publishes CPI data only once per quarter, making this publication complementary to the official one. The Melbourne Institue’s Inflation Guage rose by 0.3% in January and fell by 0.1% in February.
- Building Approvals: Monday, 00:30. Building approvals are quite volatile. after a crash of 20.6 in December, they leaped by 17.1% in January. Note that the turn of the year may have skewed the figures.
- Company Operating Profits: Monday, 00:30. Quarterly operating profits dropped by 0.1% and exceeded expectations in Q4 2017 by advancing by 2.2%, better than 1.6% that was forecast. Companies are doing quite well.
- ANZ Job Advertisements: Monday, 00:30. The Australia New Zealand Bank publishes its gauge of job ads, an indicator that precedes the official jobs report. After a leap of 6.2% in January, at the wake of the new year, ads slipped by 0.3% in February.
- Retail Sales: Tuesday, 00:30. Australian consumers did not meet expectations by squeezing their buys by 0.5% in December, around Christmas. A bounce back with +0.4% is on the cards now.
- Current Account: Tuesday, 00:30. Australia had a significant quarterly deficit in its balance of 9.1 billion in Q3. An even wider deficit of 12.3 billion is projected now.
- Australian rate decision: Tuesday, 3:30. The RBA is expected to leave the interest rate unchanged at 1.50% once again. The Australian economy is doing OK, but the central bank worries about growing household debt and wages that are not rising very quickly. The team led by Phillip Lowe is currently projected to keep interest rates unchanged throughout the year and any different hint may move the Aussie.
- Philip Lowe talks: Tuesday, 21:35. Fewer than 24 hours after the rate decision, RBA Governor speaks in Sydney about investment and may certainly address monetary policy.
- AIG Construction Index: Tuesday, 22:30. The second PMI-like indicator from AIG is for the construction sector. A score of 54.3 was seen in January and a similar one is likely for February.
- Australian GDP: Wednesday, 00:30. Australian publishes its GDP data only once, without any revisions, giving the release a more significant impact. After a quarterly growth rate of 0.6%, A slightly slower growth rate is expected, 0.5% in the last quarter of the year. In addition, yearly growth is also expected to be more modest.
- Trade Balance: Thursday, 00:30. Australia had a deficit of 1.36 billion in its trade balance, the narrower figure that focuses only on goods. A return to a surplus is expected for January: 0.22 billion.
*All times are GMT
AUD/USD Technical Analysis
Aussie/USD dropped and nearly touched the 0.77 support line (mentioned last week) before recovering.
Technical lines from top to bottom:
0.8290 was the peak in May 2015 and may come into play. It is followed by the round number of 0.82.
0.8130 was the high point in 2017 and was challenged early in the year. 0.8050 capped the pair in August and also temporarily in January, on its way up.
0.7990 was the high point in February and protects the 0.80 level. 0.7890 worked as support in February and resistance in October.
0.7760 was the low point in mid-February and works as support. The round level of 0.77 was resistance in December.
Lower, 0.7650 worked as resistance in several occasions in late 2017. The last line to watch is the round 0.75 level.
I am bearish on AUD/USD
China is not as keen as it was on growth and the RBA may express worries about Trump’s tariffs. In addition, Australians are over-indebted and the central bank may touch on this.
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- Forex weekly forecast – Outlook for the major events of the week.
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