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AUD/USD was almost unchanged in thin market trading during Christmas week. The pair closed at 0.7288.  There are nine events this  week. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

Key US  indicators  could have been sharper last week, as  unemployment claims and housing data missed expectations. There was better news from consumer confidence, which beat the forecast. There were no major Australian releases last week.

[do action=”autoupdate” tag=”AUDUSDUpdate”/]

AUD/USD graph with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:

AUD_USD Weekly Forecast Dec31-Jan1

  1. AIG Manufacturing Index: Sunday, 22:30. The index has been above the 50-point level since April, indicative of expansion in the manufacturing sector. The indicator improved to 52.5 points in November.
  2. Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 1:45. This key indicator has struggled, posting only one reading above  the 50 level  in 2015.  This  underscores the slowdown that has affected China over the  past  year. The December estimate stands at 48.9 points.
  3. Commodity Prices: Monday, 5:30. Commodity Prices continue to decline, hurting the Australian export sector. The indicator came in at -22% in November, and December is unlikely to show any significant improvement.
  4. AIG Services Index: Tuesday, 22:30. The indicator has weakened recently, recording two straight readings below the 50 line. Will the index push above 50 in the upcoming release?
  5. Building Approvals: Thursday, 00:30. This key indicator tends to show considerable movement, often resulting in readings that are well off the forecasts. This was the case in November, when the indicator came in at +3.9%, well above the estimate of -2.4%. The markets are braced for a sharp downturn, with the estimate standing at -2.8%.
  6. Trade Balance: Thursday, 00:30. The trade deficit widened to A$3.31 billion in November, much higher than the forecast of a deficit of A$2.61 billion. The markets are expecting the deficit to narrow to A$2.98 billion in December.
  7. AIG Construction Index: Thursday, 22:30. This indicator has posted four straight readings above 50, pointing to expansion in the construction industry. Will the positive streak continue in December?
  8. Retail Sales: Friday, 00:30. Retail Sales is the primary gauge of consumer spending, and should be treated as a market-mover. The indicator has been steady, and posted a gain of 0.5% in November, within expectations. The estimate for December stands at 0.4%.
  9. Chinese CPI: Saturday, 1:30. This key index can have a strong impact on the Australian dollar. Chinese CPI improved to 1.5% in November, within expectations. The upward trend is expected to continue in December, with a forecast of 1.7%.

* All times are GMT.

AUD/USD Technical Analysis

AUD/USD opened the week at 0.7271. The pair quickly touched a  low of 0.7240, testing support at  0.7160   AUD/USD then reversed directions and  climbed to a high  of 0.7329, breaking through resistance at 0.7284 (discussed last week). The pair  closed the week at 0.7288.

Live chart of AUD/USD: [do action=”tradingviews” pair=”AUDUSD” interval=”60″/]

Technical lines from top to bottom:

We  begin with resistance at 0.7630.

0.7533 has remained intact since July.

0.7440 capped the pair in August and remains key resistance.

0.7284 was breached and has switched to a support role. It is a weak line.

0.7160 has strengthened as the pair trades at higher levels.

0.7100 is next.

The round number of 0.70 worked as a cushion in August.

0.6899 has provided support since September. This is the final support level for now.

I am  bearish on AUD/USD

The US dollar remains the market’s darling after the Fed rate hike in December. With the  Fed set to raise rates again early in the New Year, risky currencies like the Aussie could lose ground against the greenback.

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