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  • Upbeat data from Australia boost the AUD on Thursday.
  • USD weakness provides an additional lift to the pair in the second half of the day.
  • Crude oil sell-off limits the gains in the last hour.

The AUD/USD pair gained traction in the early trading hours of the Asian session on Thursday after the data published by  the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that the trade surplus rose to  $3,017 million in September 2018 to beat the analysts’ estimate of $1,700 million. With the greenback going into a deep correction phase following the rally witnessed during the first half of the week, the pair rose above 0.72 for the first time since the first week of October. As of writing, the pair was trading at 0.7195, adding 120 pips, or 1.7%, on the day.

Today’s data from the United States revealed that the business activity in the manufacturing sector continued to expand with both the IHS Markit’s and the ISM’s PMI reports staying well above the 50 mark. However, the details of these publications made it clear that tariffs continued to impact the sector negatively by ramping up the input and raw material prices.  

Commenting on the data, “Production and new orders both fell by around four points. This is consistent with numbers seen in some of the other purchasing managers’ indices reports from around the world along with the US durable goods report. It perhaps hints of a slight loss of momentum on the back of trade protectionism and concern over what this could mean for supply chains. Indeed, export orders fell to their lowest level since November 2016,” ING analysts noted.

The US Dollar Index extended its slide in the NA session from 2018 high that was set yesterday at 97.20 and was last seen down 0.7% on the day at 96.40.  

On Friday, retail sales and PPI data from Australia will be looked upon for fresh impetus ahead of the November nonfarm payroll report from the United States.

Technical levels to consider

With a decisive break above 0.7200 (psychological level/daily high), the pair could target 0.7245 (100-DMA) and 0.7310 (Sep. 26 high). On the downside, supports are located at 0.7150 (20-DMA), 0.7100 (20-DMA) and 0.7020 (Oct. 26 low).