Home AUD/USD Forecast Feb. 2-6

The Australian dollar’s sharp slide continues, as AUD/USD  lost over 100 points last week.  The pair closed at 0.7754,  its lowest level since July 2009. The upcoming week is busy,  with 12  events.  Here is an outlook on the major market-movers and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.

In the US,  the Fed  did not make any major changes  in its statement, but did  marginally upgrade the wording regarding the economy, noting that strong employment numbers had helped the economy. Data was mixed with disappointing  durables,  excellent jobless claims  and a GDP which was missed expectations. In Australia, CPI inflation numbers were mixed,  while NAB Business Confidence remained at low levels.

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

AUDUSDForecast Feb. 2-6


  1. AIG Manufacturing Index: Sunday, 22:30. The index has  been struggling, with just one reading above the 50 line since June. This  threshold  separates contraction from expansion. The indicator came in at a weak 46. 9 points in December.
  2. MI Inflation Gauge: Sunday, 23:30. This indicator is released monthly, helping analysts track CPI, which  is released every quarter. The index remains at low levels and came in at a flat 0.0% in December.
  3. Commodity Prices: Monday, 5:30. The Australian export sector continues to struggle and this has hurt the weak Aussie. Commodity Prices has been posting sharp declines and the December reading came in at -21.2%.
  4. Building Approvals: Tuesday, 00:30. This is the first key event of the week. The indicator tends to show strong fluctuation, resulting in readings that are often well off the forecast. This was the case in December reading, which posted a strong gain of 7.5%. This crushed the estimate of -2.7%. The markets are braced for a decline of -4.8% in the upcoming reading.
  5. Trade Balance: Tuesday, 00:30. Trade Balance is closely linked to currency demand, as foreigners must buy  Australian dollars in order to purchase  Australian goods and services. In December, the trade deficit improved to A$-0.93 billion, much smaller than the estimate of A$-1.59 billion. The trade deficit is expected to continue to improve, with an estimate of A$-0.85 billion.
  6. Cash Rate: Tuesday, 3:30. There has been speculation that the RBA will reduce rates, but this is unlikely to occur in the February move. Currently, the benchmark rate is at 2.50%. The RBA will  set the new rate with  a Rate Statement.
  7. AIG Services Index: Tuesday, 22:30. The index remains under 50, pointing to continuing contraction in the services sector. The December report showed some improvement, with a reading of 47.5 points.
  8. HIA New Home Sales: Thursday, 00:00. This indicator has posted strong gains over two straight months, with the December reading coming in at 2.2%. The markets will be hoping for more positive news in the upcoming reading.
  9. Retail Sales: Thursday, 00:30. Retail Sales is the primary gauge of consumer spending and should be treated by traders as a market-mover. The indicator slipped to 0.1% in December, shy of the estimate of 0.3%. The markets are expecting better news for January, with the estimate standing at 0.3%.
  10. NAB Quarterly Business Confidence: Thursday, 00:30. This indicator is an important gauge of confidence in the business sector and its quarterly publication magnifies the impact of each reading. The indicator has posted three consecutive readings of 6 points. Will we see a change for the Q4 report?
  11. AIG Construction Index: Thursday, 22:30. The index has slipped below 50 for the past two readings, pointing to contraction in the construction sector. The markets are not anticipating any major shift in the upcoming reading.
  12. RBA Monetary Policy Statement: Friday, 00:30. The markets will be following this release closely, looking for clues as to future monetary policy. With talk of the RBA considering a rate cut in the near future, any hints about a cut could send the struggling Aussie to lower levels.

* All times are GMT.

AUD/USD Technical Analysis

AUD/USD started the week at 0.7877 and touched a  high of 0.8025. The pair then reversed directions, breaking below support at 0.7799 (discussed last week) as it touched a low of 0.7720.  AUD/USD closed the week at 0.7754.

Live chart of AUD/USD:

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Technical lines from top to bottom:

0.8313 has held firm as resistance since mid-December.

0.8150 has switched to resistance following the pair’s sharp losses.

0.7978 was an important cap in January 2007.    The pair tested this line as it pushed past the symbolic 0.80 level.

0.7904 has strengthened in resistance as the pair trades at lower levels.

0.7799  has switched to a resistance role. It  is currently  a weak line and could see action early in the week.

0.7601 is a strong support level It was last tested in  July 2009.

0.7403 is next.

The final support line for now is 0.7283, which has held firm since April 2009.


I am bearish on AUD/USD.

The US dollar continues to show broad strength and the Australian dollar  has been no match for its US cousin. Market sentiment remains strong on the US economy, and if Australian numbers do not impress this week, the Aussie could continue to lose ground.

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

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.