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The Aussie finished a very busy week lower. Will it break lower and follow other currencies? Or remain in range? The upcoming week also provides quite a few events. Here is an outlook for these events, and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

The Aussie enjoyed an excellent GDP report: the economy in Australia grew by 1.2% in Q2, on top of a smaller drop in Q1, which was revised to the upside. On the other hand, employment data was very disappointing in August: a drop in jobs and a rise in the unemployment rate weighed on the Australian dollar.

AUD/USD chart with support and resistance lines on it. Click to enlarge:AUD USD Chart  September 12 16 2011

  1. Trade Balance: Monday, 1:30. Australia enjoys a  nice surplus in its trade balance for quite a long time. This surplus dropped from 2.7 billion to just above 2 billion last month. A small rise is likely now. This will set the tone early in the week.
  2. NAB Business Confidence: Tuesday, 1:30. National Bank Australia has a wide survey of businesses, to measure economic conditions. After hitting a round 0 two months ago, the index rose to 2 points last month, showing slightly improving conditions. The result is likely to remain similar this time.
  3. Westpac Consumer Sentiment: Wednesday, 00:30. According to this Australian bank, the mood among consumers is falling in the past 4 months. Last month’s drop of 3.5% had a significant impact on the Aussie. A small rise is likely now.
  4. Housing Starts: Wednesday, 1:30. While Australia has many indicators for the housing sector published earlier, this one has a quarterly scope, making it of importance. After a surprising rise of 3.1% in Q1, a drop is expected in Q2.
  5. MI Inflation Expectations: Thursday, 1:00. The Melbourne Institute provides monthly updates on inflation, a higher frequency than the government. Annual inflation expectations fell to 2.7% last month, the lowest in more than two year. Another drop is likely now.
  6. New Motor Vehicle Sales: Thursday, 1:30. Sales of cars, trucks and other types of vehicles provide an interesting gauge to the situation of the economy. A very strong rise of 8.6% was reported for the month of July. This time, a drop is more likely.

* All times are GMT.

AUD/USD Technical Analysis

The Australian dollar kicked off the week with a Sunday gap lower. It then managed to recover, close the gap and cross the 1.06 line, but the end was bad, with a drop to support at 1.0420 (mentioned last week) before closing at 1.0470.

Technical levels from top to bottom:

1.0764 was a key resistance level in May and June also served as strong resistance at the beginning of September. 1.0660 capped the pair just now, and also worked as support in July.

The round number of 1.06 worked as resistance back in August and is a minor line now. 1.0530 managed to cap the pair during August, after working as support in July. It is also only minor now.

1.0480 returns after providing support just now and also earlier in the year. It is immediate resistance now.  The 1.0420 line is stronger now, as support once again, after being the last resort.

1.0314 was a stepping stone on the way up at the beginning of the year, and worked well in the opposite direction.  Further below, the 2010 high of 1.0254 is support, and its not too far. The round number of 1.02 capped a range before the pair took off in the previous round.

1.0120 was a nice cushion during the recovery and is further support. The next line is obvious: AUD/USD parity. The very round number isn’t that strong though.

Below parity, 0.9930 provides support after holding back in August. The 0.98 line is the last line for now.

I remain bearish on AUD/USD.

While the Australian economy managed to hold in Q2, the recent job figures add pressure to the currency down under. The Aussie has room for small drops, that can accelerate if Greece goes under.

Further reading: