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The Australian dollar moved higher last week, as AUD/USD  climbed almost one cent. The pair closed the week  at 0.9361.  This week’s highlights are NAB Business Confidence and the Annual Budget. Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

The Australian dollar got a lift from strong employment data, and the markets didn’t pay much attention to the RBA’s pleas that the Aussie is overvalued. In the US, ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI beat the estimate and Unemployment Claims dipped to a three-week low.

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

  1. NAB Business Confidence: Monday, 1:30. This important indicator has been dropping in 2014, and slipped to 4 points last month, its worst showing since last July. Will the indicator turn around in the upcoming release?
  2. HPI: Tuesday, 1:30. The House Price Index, published each quarter,  is one of the most important housing indicators. A gain in the reading points to increased  demand  in the housing sector. The index posted a strong gain of 3.4% in Q4, beating the estimate of 3.2%. The forecast for Q1 remains unchanged at 3.2%.
  3. Home Loans: Tuesday, 1:30. Analysts follow this indicator closely, as an increase in home financing  is indicative of  stronger consumer confidence and spending, which is critical for economic growth. The indicator bounced back strongly in March, with a 2.3%, well above the estimate of 1.7%.   The markets are expecting a smaller gain in April. with a forecast of 1.1%.
  4. Chinese Industrial Production: Tuesday, 5:30. AUD/USD is sensitive to key Chinese indicators, such as Industrial Production,  since China is Australia’s number one trading partner. The indicator is pointing  to strong growth in the manufacturing sector, but has missed the estimate for four consecutive readings. The  forecast for the upcoming release stands at 8.9%.
  5. Annual Budget Release: Tuesday, Tentative. The annual budget should be treated as a market-mover, as any unexpected moves by the government can quickly affect the direction of AUD/USD. Analysts will be paying close attention to the government’s projected spending and borrowing levels and job creation goals in the budget.
  6. New Motor Vehicle Sales: Thursday, 1:30. This indicator is an important gauge of consumer spending, as a new vehicle is a significant expense. The indicator has not impressed in recent readings, and came in at -0.3% last month. The markets will be hoping for better news from the April release.

*All times are GMT.


AUD/USD Technical Analysis

AUD/USD  opened the week at 0.9274 and quickly  dropped to a low  of 0.9252.  AUD/USD  then  reversed directions,  climbing close to the 0.94 as it reached a high of 0.9394, breaking above resistance at 0.9368 (discussed  last week). AUD/USD closed at 0.9361.


Technical lines from top to bottom:

We  start with the round number of 0.99, a key resistance level. Next is 0.9794, which was last tested in June 2013.

There is resistance at the round number of 0.9700, which has held firm since October 2013.

0.9526 provided key resistance in November 2013 and has remained intact since that time.

0.9442  held firm as  AUD/USD pushed  above the 0.94 before retracting. The line marked the high point of  the  pair in November, which saw the Aussie  go on a sharp slide and drop below the  0.89  line.

0.9368 continued to hold firm as the Aussie gained ground last week. It is a weak resistance line and could face pressure early in the week.

0.9283 was  easily  breached  by the  pair and  has reverted to a  support role.  Will this line see action again this week?

0.9180 is the next support line. It has some breathing room as the Australian dollar trades at higher levels.

The round number of 0.9000 is a key psychological level. It has remained intact since early March.  0.8893  is the next support line.

The final support level for now is 0.8728.  It  marks the low point of an Aussie  rally which began in early February and  saw the currency cross  above the 0.94 line.


I am  bearish on AUD/USD.

The RBA is not happy with the Aussie climbing in the mid-90s, and will be looking for ways to push down the currency. US numbers have generally been solid, and a downward correction  by AUD/USD is a strong  possibility.