AUD/USD Forecast Sep. 30-Oct. 4 – Aussie Under Pressure as RBA Poised to Cut Rates

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AUD/USD traded sideways last week, after sustaining sharp losses a week earlier. The upcoming week is busy, with 10 events. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

PMI reports are good indicators of economic growth, and the September data was not all that strong. Manufacturing PMI slipped into contraction territory (49.4), after a string of readings above the 50-line, which separates contraction from expansion. Services PMI improved to 52.5, indicative of weak expansion.

Over in the U.S., third-estimate GDP for Q2 came in at 2.0%, confirming the second estimate. This is significantly lower than the robust gain of 3.1% in the first quarter. On the political front, the Democrats have initiated impeachment proceedings against President Trump, over possible abuse of power. Trump had placed a telephone call to the Ukrainian President and discussed the business dealings of Joe Biden and his son. However, the impeachment process is a lengthy one which is unlikely to impact on the currency markets, at least for now.
AUD/USD daily graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:
  1. MI Inflation Gauge: Monday, 1:00. This monthly release helps analysts track inflation on a monthly basis. The indicator dipped to zero in July, the third flat reading in the past four months.
  2. Chinese Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 1:00. The ongoing trade war with the U.S. has taken a heavy toll on the manufacturing sector, resulting in soft readings from the index. For the past four months, the index has been below the 50-level, which indicates contraction. The September release is projected at 49.6 points.
  3. Private Sector Credit: Monday, 1:30. Credit levels for consumers and individuals remain at low levels. The previous release came in at 0.2%, matching the estimate. The indicator is expected to tick up to 0.3% in August.
  4. Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 1:45. In July, this PMI had a stronger reading than the official Manufacturing PMI, with a reading of 50.4, indicating stagnation. Little change is expected in September, with an estimate of 50.2 points.
  5. AIG Manufacturing Index: Monday, 22:30. The index improved to 53.1 in August, indicative of expansion in manufacturing. The release marked a 4-month high. Will we see further expansion in the September release?
  6. Building Approvals: Tuesday, 1:30. This key construction gauge tends to show sharp swings. In July, the indicator recorded a sharp decline of 9.7%, well off the forecast of 0.0%. The markets are expecting a rebound in August, with an estimate of 2.1%.
  7. RBA Rate Decision: Tuesday, 4:30. All eyes are on the RBA, which is expected to cut rates from 1.00% to 0.75%. Although the rate cut has been priced in by the markets, the move could still push the Aussie downwards. Investors will also be monitoring the RBA rate statement.
  8. AIG Services Index: Wednesday, 22:30. The index is pointing to weak expansion in the services sector, with three readings above the 50-level in the past four months. The August release improved to 51.4, up sharply from 43.9 a month earlier. Will the upward momentum continue in September?
  9. Retail Sales: Friday, 13:30. This key indicator can have a strong effect on the movement of AUD/USD. The indicator disappointed in July, with a decline of 0.1%. Investors are expecting a strong rebound In August, with an estimate of 0.5%.
  10. RBA Financial Stability Review: Friday, 1:30. The central bank publishes a report on financial stability twice per year. Apart from the assessment on stability, the publication also provides economic figures and may hint about monetary policy.

*All times are GMT

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We start with resistance at 0.7165. This line has held firm 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 was active in mid-September and has some breathing room in resistance.

0.6825 (mentioned last week) is next.

0.6744 was tested in support during the week. It remains a weak 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 is the final support level for now.

I am bearish on AUD/USD

The RBA slashed interest rates this past summer, and is expected to cut rates again this week. This dovish stance points to concern about the strength of the Australian economy, and the Aussie could lose some of its attractiveness to investors.

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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.