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Australian  Trade Balance  measures the change in the value of goods and services  which  are exported and imported every month.  This indicator is particularly important  for currency traders, as  foreigners need to purchase  Australian dollars in order  to purchase Australian exports. A reading that is higher than the market forecast is bullish for  the aussie.

Here are all the details, and 5 possible outcomes for AUD/USD.

Published on Thursday at 00:30 GMT.

Indicator Background

Investors and  analysts use Australian trade balance data as a way to determine the health of  the Australian economy and its relationship with the rest of the world.
Trade balance figures have been down for the past three readings. From an October figure of 3.10B, which was  the high of 2011, the indicator  fell  sharply in December to just 1.68B. The forecast for the January reading calls for a further drop, down to 1.60B. Traders should keep in mind that as the indicator fluctuates considerably, the market predictions often fall short in their accuracy. Last month was no exception, with a forecast of 2.03B versus an  actual reading of only 1.60B.

Sentiments and levels

Economic indicators are clearly stronger in the US than in Australia,  and the greenback  has been on  the upswing against most major currencies. For its part, the  aussie has showed renewed strength against the dollar in recent days, although this could rally could prove to be short-lived, given the fragile Australian economy.  Thus, the overall sentiment is  neutral on AUD/USD towards this release.

Technical levels, from top to bottom: 1.05, 1.0450, 1.04, 1.0336,  1.02, 0.9890 and  0.9810.

5 Scenarios

  1. Within expectations:  152B to 168B: In such a case, the Aussie is likely to rise within range, with a small chance of breaking higher.
  2. Above expectations:  169B to 177B: An unexpected higher reading can send AUD/USD well above one resistance line.
  3. Well above expectations: Above 177B: Such an outcome would propel the pair upwards, and a second resistance line might be broken as a result.
  4. Below expectations:  143B to 151B: A poor reading would rattle markets and could push the pair below one level of support.
  5. Well below expectations: Below 143B:  A sharp drop  would be bad news  for the Australian economy.  In this scenario, the Aussie will fall and could break  two or more  support levels.

For more about the Aussie, see the AUD to USD forecast.

Expert score

5

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