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March month employment statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, up for publishing at 01:30 GMT on Thursday, will be the immediate catalyst for the AUD/USD pair traders.

Market consensus favors Employment Change to decline to -40.0K from 26.7K on a seasonally adjusted basis whereas the Unemployment Rate is likely to surge from 5.1% to 5.5%. Also, the Participation Rate may drop to 65.9% from 66.0% prior.

Westpac stays modestly pessimistic ahead of the release as their analysts say,

The survey was conducted in the first two weeks of the month (prior to the introduction of lockdowns and other restrictions), so the brunt of the virus’s impact may not be felt until April. Westpac expects an employment change of -20k (market -30k). That should lift the unemployment rate to 5.3% (market 5.4%). April MI inflation expectations will also be released today. Falling petrol prices are likely to drive expectations lower.

TD Securities remain supportive to the market consensus while saying,

The employment report for March will be the first official print to provide a guide of the virus’ impact on the labour market. We pencil in a -60k drop in jobs, the risk is for further job shedding than this. We expect the participation rate to drop to 65.7%, the risk is for this to fall further. However, a fall in the participation rate will dampen the magnitude of the unemployment rate rise. Nonetheless, we look for the unemployment rate to lift to 5.6%.

How could the data affect AUD/USD?

Considering the survey period being before the coronavirus-led lockdowns, the actual figures might surprise and could have a short-term positive reaction. However, this doesn’t rule out the broad pessimism concerning the pandemic and RBA’s readiness to offer additional easy money steps. As a result, while the downbeat figures are likely to favor a continuation of the pair’s latest weakness, any pullback moves backed by upbeat surprises will remain doubtful.

Technically, the Aussie pair stays above a four-week-old rising support line, currently near 0.6270, which in turn could reinforce the upside momentum to challenge the 50-day SMA figure of 0.6365. However, buyers may remain cautious ahead of the pair’s successful rise past the monthly high around 0.6445. Alternatively, the pair’s further downside below 0.6270 will recall the March-end top surrounding 0.6215.

Key Notes

AUD/USD stays depressed above 0.6300, Aussie employment data in focus

AUD/USD Forecast: Bears lead ahead of Australian employment figures

About the Employment Change

The Employment Change released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is a measure of the change in the number of employed people in Australia. Generally speaking, a rise in this indicator has positive implications for consumer spending which stimulates economic growth. Therefore, a high reading is seen as positive (or bullish) for the AUD, while a low reading is seen as negative (or bearish).

About the Unemployment Rate

The Unemployment Rate released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is the number of unemployed workers divided by the total civilian labor force. If the rate hikes, indicates a lack of expansion within the Australian labor market. As a result, a rise leads to weaken the Australian economy. A decrease of the figure is seen as positive (or bullish) for the AUD, while an increase is seen as negative (or bearish).