AUD/USD Outlook January 16-20

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The Australian dollar rose over 100 pips against the greenback, closing just above the 1.03 level. The upcoming week is busy, with eight indicators being released. Here is an outlook for the Australian events, and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

Updates: The Aussie dipped under 1.03 as the ANZ Job Advertisements dropped by 0.9%, triggering worries about employment. It managed to climb back up as home loans rose by 1.4%. The better than expected Chinese GDP (8.9% annualized) certainly gave a boost to the Aussie that touched 1.0450 before sliding lower. Australian New Motor Vehicle Sales disappointed with a big drop of 2.9%. This prevented another move upwards. AUD/USD is struggling around 1.04. Australian employment data disappointed with a drop of nearly 30K jobs, although it’s important to note that full time jobs were actually on the rise. AUD/USD managed to rise above 1.04 once again, also on the European optimism.

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

  1. MI Inflation Gauge: Sunday, 23:30. The readings for the third quarter were all close to the zero level, indicating practically no inflation. More of the same is expected for the January reading.
  2. ANZ Job Advertisements: Monday,00:30. Employment ads are an important indicator of the need for new employees, which is a critical component for economic growth. The indicator has risen over the past three readings, reaching the important zero level in December. Will the index venture into positive territory this month?
  3. Home Loans: Monday, 00:30. This is one of the most important indicators in the housing sector. The indicator dipped in December to 0.7%, but this was somewhat better than the market forecast of 0.1%. The forecast for January is up slightly to 1.0%.
  4. Westpac Consumer Sentiment: Tuesday, 11:30. Consumer confidence indicator plunged to -8.3%, its lowest reading since July. It is these types of readings which shake up markets, as economic growth relies on consumer spending. Look for the aussie to slide if this month’s figures repeat these awful numbers.
  5. New Motor Vehicle Sales: Wednesday 00:30. This is another important indicator of consumer spending and confidence in the economy. The indicator recorded weak figures in the final quarter of 2011, with a December reading of -0.7%.
  6. MI Inflation Expectations: Thursday 00:30. This indicator looks at the expections among consumers as to inflation of goods and services. Little change is expected in the reading this month.
  7. Employment Data: Thursday 00:30. The Employment Change indicator is quite volatile, making accurate market forecasts difficult. The reading plummeted in December to -6.3K, shocking the markets, which had called for a reading of 10.3K. The market is yet again predicting a reading of 10.3K. The Unemployment Rate indicator has been very steady at around 5%, and no change is anticipated for this month.
  8. Import Prices: Friday 00:30. An increase in imports signals more consumer spending and greater confidence in the economy. The indicator has dropped in the past two readings, falling to the zero level in December. The market forecast for this month is a slight increase to 0.6%.

* All the times are GMT.

AUD/USD Technical Analysis

AUD/USD opened the week at 1.0199, and started the week by dropping as low ass 1.0145. It rebounded, however, climbing as high as 1.0378, close to the resistance line of 1.04 (discussed last week) before closing at 1.0311.

Technical levels from top to bottom:

We begin with the round number of 1.0733, which is strong resistance. This is followed by strong resistance at 1.0660. Next is the round number of 1.05, which served as support in May and June, and is now in a resistance role. Below is 1.0450, which was last tested in November and is a line of strong resistance.  This is followed by the round number of 1.04, which has held steady in 2011. Next, 1.0336 was breached this week and is now a weak resistance line. After serving as an important line of  resistance in December, the level of 1.02 now a weak support line and will be tested on a sustained downswing. Below, 1.0080 is proving strong support. role. Next is 0.9890, a weak support line. This is followed by0.9810, which is providing strong support to the pair. There is further major support for the aussie at the 0.9660 level. Finally, the round number of 0.95, which was breached only once in 2011 is providing strong support to the pair.

I am neutral on AUD/USD

The US economy continues to gain steam, which should push AUD/USD downwards. However, the aussie has managed to hold its own against the greenback in 2012, showing surprising strength. This is unlikely to continue long-term, as economic fundmantals favor the US economy over that of Australia.

Further reading:

Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs

About Author

Kenny Fisher - Senior Writer A native of Toronto, Canada, Kenneth worked for seven years in the marketing and trading departments at Bendix, a foreign exchange company in Toronto. Kenneth is also a lawyer, and has extensive experience as an editor and writer.