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AUD/USD continued to sag, dropping 150 pips this week. The pair closed at 1.0340. The upcoming week is very busy, with ten releases. Here is an outlook for the Australian events, and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

Updates: HIA New Home Sales shot up 3%, rebounding from a 7.3% drop in February. Private Sector Credit rose 0.4%, a five-month high. AIG Manufacturing Index dropped to 49.5, a four-month low. MI Inflation Gauge jumped 0.5%. Building Approvals plummeted 7.8%, a four-month low. Commodity Prices rose just 2.7%, as the long downward trend since February 2011 continued. Retail Sales rose 0.2%, matching the market forecast. The central bank kept benchmark interest rates steady at 4.25%, as predicted by the markets. The Services Index was up a notch this month, to 47.0. Australia posted a second straight Trade Balance deficit, at o.48B. This disappointed the markets, which had predicted a surplus of 1.12B. AUD/USD is down, trading at 1.0270. The trigger for the plunge was as the release of the March FOMC Meeting Minutes, which indicated that the Fed intends to refrain from further quantitative easing unless the rate of growth falters or inflation drops below the central bank’s 2% targeted rate. The markets are waiting for the release of the Construction Index.

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

  1. Chinese Manufacturing PMI: Sunday, 1:00. This diffusion index is based on a survey of purchasing managers. The April reading hit 53.1, well above the market forecast and a twelve-month high. As China is Australia’s number one trading partner, this strong figure is bullish for the Aussie.
  2. AIG Manufacturing Index: Sunday, 23:30. This diffusion index is based on surveyed manufacturers. The index has been quite steady, hovering around the 51 level. This indicates very moderate activity in the manufacturing sector.
  3. MI Inflation Gauge: Monday, 00:30. The index has dropped for three consecutive months, posting a reading of just 0.1% in March. Another low inflation reading is forecast for April.
  4. Building Approvals: Monday, 1:30. Building Approvals rose a slight 0.9% in March. The market forecast for April is an even lower reading, of only 0.6%.
  5. Commodity Prices: Monday, 6:30. This indicator has been dropping for five consecutive months, hitting 3.5% in March. This figure represents a two-year low, and a further drop this month could hurt the Aussie.
  6. Retail Sales: Tuesday, 1:30. This is perhaps the most important indicator of consumer spending. The indicator rose 0.3% in March, a four-month high. A modest increase of 0.2% is predicted in April.
  7. Cash Rate: Tuesday, 4:30. The central bank has maintained interest rates at 4.25% since December 2011, and no change is likely in April.
  8. AIG Services Index: Tuesday, 23:30. This diffusion index is based on a survey of companies in the service sector. The March reading disappointed at 46.7. Will the indicator improve this month, and possibly climb above the important 50 level?
  9. Trade Balance: Wednesday, 1:30. Australia posted a trade balance deficit of 0.67B in March, the worst numbers since May 2010. The markets are forecasting a sharp rebound in April, with a prediction of a surplus of 1.12B.
  10. AIG Construction Index: Thursday, 23:30. This diffusion index is based on surveyed companies in the construction sector. This industry is showing sustained weakness, and the indicator recorded a reading of just 35.6 last month. No substantial change is predicted this month.

* All times are GMT

AUD/USD Technical Analysis

AUD/USD opened at 1.0486. The pair reached a high of 1.0557. It then dropped all the way to 1.0304, briefly breaking through resistance at 1.0320 (discussed last week). AUD/USD closed the week at 1.0339.

Technical levels from top to bottom:

We start with the resistance  line of  1.0884. Below, the round number of 1.08 is providing resistance to the pair. The next line of resistance is at 1.0724. This is followed by  strong resistance  at 1.0650. The line of 1.0525 is back in a resistance role. Below, the 1.0428 was breached this week, and is now in a resistance role, as the aussie loses strength. Next, 1.0372 is providing resistance to the pair. There is support at 1.0320, a line which was breached this week on the downward move by the pair. It could be tested if the aussie continues to sag. Below,  there is strong  support  level of 1.0250. This is followed by support at the round figure of  1.02, Next, is the support level of 1.0080, which is protecting the all-important parity level. The final support level for now is at 0.9964.

I am bearish on AUD/USD.

AUD/USD continues to push downwards as the aussie is no match for the robust US dollar. Weaker global activity, especially in China, Australia’s number one trading partner, is weighing on the Australian   dollar.

Further reading: