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AUD/USD reversed directions last week, losing close to 1 percent. This was the sharpest weekly decline since mid-September. This week features business and consumer confidence reports and employment data. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

In Australia, retail sales dropped to 0.2% in September, down from 0.2% a month earlier.The RBA held rates steady at the record low of 0.75%. The bank has taken a pause after trimming rates three times since May. The rate statement was on the dovish side, as the RBA confirmed an easing basis and noted that “wage growth was no longer expected to pick up”. Analysts expect further rates cuts in 2020 unless the economy shows significant improvement.

U.S. Services PMI continued to point to expansion, as it improved to 54.7, above the estimate of 53.5 points. The UoM Consumer Sentiment index dipped to 95.7, shy of the forecast of 97.0 points. There was a significant development on the trade front, as a Chinese report stated that the U.S. and China had agreed to phase out tariffs. However, no timetable was given.
AUD/USD daily graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
  1. Chinese New Loans: Monday, 11th-14th. New bank loans rose to 1690 billion yuan ($241 billion) in September, above expectations. However, the markets are braced for a sharp drop in October, with an estimate of 800 billion yuan ($114 billion).
  2. NAB Business Confidence: Tuesday, 0:30. Business confidence has been heading lower, despite three rate cuts from the RBA in recent months. The indicator fell to zero in September, which points to economic conditions remaining stagnant. This was the third zero reading in 2019. We now await the October data.
  3. Westpac Consumer Sentiment: Tuesday, 23:30. Consumer confidence has struggled, and dropped sharply in October, with a reading of -5.5%. Will we see an improvement in the November release?
  4. Wage Price Index: Wednesday, 0:30. Wage growth has been fairly steady. In the second quarter, wages rose 0.6% in Q2, up slightly from 0.5% in the previous quarter. The estimate for Q3 stands at 0.5%.  
  5. MI Inflation Expectations: Thursday, 0:00. This Melbourne Institute inflation indicator is useful for tracking actual inflation data. The indicator jumped to 3.6% in September, up from 3.1% a month earlier. Will the upward trend continue in October?
  6. Employment Data: Thursday, 0:30. The Australian economy created 14.7 thousand jobs in September, down sharply from the gain of 34.7 thousand a month earlier. The estimate for October stands at 16.2 thousand. The unemployment dropped from 5.3% to 5.2% and is projected to remain steady at 5.2%.  

*All times are GMT

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with resistance at 0.7240.

0.7165 has held firm since early April.

0.7085 has held since July. 0.7022 is next.

0.6988 is protecting the symbolic 70 level.

0.6865 (mentioned  last week) has switched to support after strong gains by AUD/USD last week.

0.6744 is next.

0.6686 was tested in early October.

0.6627 has held in support since March 2009.

0.6532 is the final support level for now.


I remain neutral on AUD/USD

The rash of interest cuts has not imrpoved the Australian economy, and business and consumers remain concerned about ecnomic conditions. However, if a trade deal is reached between the U.S. and China, risk appetite would climb, which would be bullish for the Aussie.

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