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The Aussie gained steadily through most of the week, marking its longest winning streak since April before falling off slightly Friday.  Post Bernanke’s speech, the AUD has benefited from a modest improvement in risk sentiment taking hold in the markets.  The upcoming week is very busy, and consists of no less than 9 events. Here is an outlook for these events and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

The Aussie was buoyed by Thursday’s release of higher than expected Australian retail sales.  Positive manufacturing data out of China also helped to drive the AUD, easing concerns of a stalling economic recovery in China.  With the RBA expected to leave interest rates unchanged at the next meeting, the AUD has been increasing against the USD.

AUD/USD daily chart with support and resistance lines marked. Click to enlarge:AUD USD Chart September 5 9 2011

  1. AIG Services Index: Sunday, 23:30. This survey of about 200 firms in the services sector asks respondents about their sentiment towards different variables in the economy. Above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction – Last month’s level grew slightly to 48.8.
  2. MI Inflation Gauge: Monday, 00:30. This information provides a monthly glance at inflation and is designed to follow the quarterly government-released CPI figure. The indicator is expected to maintain 0.3% growth.
  3. ANZ Job Advertisements: Monday 1:30.  This unofficial measure of job advertisements in various media outlets provides a good gauge for the official employment numbers published later in the week. ANZ reported a decrease last month, -0.7%.
  4. Home Loans: Tuesday 1:30. This is a leading indicator of activity  in the housing market – most homes need financing, so it provides an excellent gauge of how many qualified buyers are entering the market. It is estimated to rise 1.6%.
  5. Rate decision: Tuesday 4:30. Glenn Stevens and his colleagues are expected to leave the interest rate unchanged at 4.75% for another month. There is a chance of a rate cut, given the economic slowdown, but the chance is low.
  6. AIG Construction Index: Tuesday 23:30. This wide survey of about 120 construction companies asks them to rate current conditions in various aspects: production, employment and more.
  7. GDP: Wednesday 1:30. This is the broadest measure of economic activity and always has a strong impact, on any result. A 1% increase is expected for Q2. Australia publishes the data relatively late.
  8. Employment data: Thursday 0:30. This is a critical piece of economic data released shortly after the month ends and always shake the Aussie. Employment fell 0.1K for July, but August is expected to see an increase of 10.4K. The unemployment rate jumped to 5.1% and is expected to remain at this level.
  9. Chinese Industrial Production: Friday. Australia is very dependent on China, especially with commodities. Chinese industrial output is still growing very fast and also now, it is expected to come in at 14.2%.

* All times are GMT.

AUD/USD Technical Analysis

Aussie/dollar began the week quickly moving beyond the 1.06 resistance line (discussed previously).  The 1.065 line now served as a cushion for the pair with the 1.07 line acting as a key resistance.

Technical levels, from top to bottom:

1.0920 which is distant resistance, is our first line. It cushioned the fall of the pair in the past.  1.088 proved to be a strong line in recently, separating ranges. Its role is minor now.

1.0775 was a key resistance level before the surge, and also served as strong resistance just now. The round number of 1.07 was temporary support. It is a minor line.

The round number of 1.06 capped the pair nicely and is a new resistance line on the graph. 1.0530 managed to cap the pair before a stronger move, and is now weak support.

The 1.0420 line returns as support this time. It is another weak line. 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 turn bearish on AUD/USD.

In the face of the global slowdown including the fall in commodity prices, the Aussie dollar will need extraordinary figures to remain resilient, and this doesn’t seem to be the situation.

Further reading: