AUD/USD posted small gains last week, as the pair closed just above the 0.71 line. The upcoming week has 6 events on the schedule. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.
In the US, employment numbers bounced back last week with solid readings, while retail sales reports were soft but met expectations. In Australia, consumer sentiment and housing data was strong, but business confidence weakened.Updates:
- New Motor Vehicles Sales: Monday, 00:30. This is an important consumer spending indicator, as a new vehicle is one of most expensive assets a consumer will purchase. The indicator posted a decline of 0.5% in December.
- Chinese Trade Balance: Monday, Tentative. The Australian dollar is sensitive to Chinese key releases, as the Asian giant is Australia’s number one trading partner. The trade balance jumped to $382 billion in December, well above the estimate of $339 billion. The surplus is expected to jump improve to $389 billion in January.
- RBA Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes: Tuesday, 00:30. The RBA minutes will provide details of the recent policy meeting. At that meeting, the RBA held interest rates at an even 2.00%, but maintained a bias to reducing rates.
- MI Leading Index: Tuesday, 23:30. This minor indicator has struggled, posting two straight declines. Will the indicator move into positive territory in the January report?
- Employment Change: Thursday, 00:30. After two excellent releases, the indicator posted a weak reading of -1.0K in December. This reading did, however, beat the forecast of -11.0 thousand. The markets are expecting a strong turnaround in January, with a forecast of 12.9 thousand. The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 5.8%.
- RBA Assistant Governor Malcolm Edrey Speaks: Thursday, Tentative. Edrey will deliver remarks at a financial forum in Sydney. A speech which is more hawkish than expected is bullish for the Australian dollar.
* All times are GMT
AUD/USD Technical Analysis
AUD/USD opened the week at 0.7084 and dropped to a low of 0.6972, testing support at 0.7000 (discussed last week). The pair then reversed directions and climbed to a high of 0.7153. AUD/USD closed the week at 0.7110.
Live chart of AUD/USD:
Technical lines from top to bottom:
We begin with resistance at 0.7440. This line capped the pair in August.
0.7284 was tested as the pair posted sharp gains before retracting.
0.7100 had a busy week and is currently a weak resistance line. It could see further action early in the week.
The round number of 0.70 worked as a cushion in August.
0.6899 has provided support since September.
0.6775 is the next support level.
0.6686 was an important cap back in January 2000. It is the final support level for now.
I am bearish on AUD/USD
The RBA is maintaining a bias towards monetary easing, should inflation levels soften further. This contrasts with the situation in the US, where a March rate hike remains a possibility. This monetary divergence is weighing on the Australian dollar. A weaker Chinese economy and low oil prices will likely result in investors staying away from risky assets like the Aussie, in favor of the safe-haven yen and dollar.
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- For a broad view of all the week’s major events worldwide, read the USD outlook.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro to Dollar forecast.
- For the Japanese yen, read the USD/JPY forecast.
- For GBP/USD (cable), look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Canadian dollar (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar forecast.
- For the kiwi, see the NZD/USD forecast