AUD/USD enjoyed an excellent week, climbing over 1.0%. It was the pair’s sharpest one-week gain since late October. There are five events on the schedule. Here is an outlook at the highlights and an updated technical analysis for AUD/USD.
The RBA maintained the benchmark rate at 0.75%, as expected. The bank said it “continues to monitor developments” and has left the door open to rate cuts in 2020. Australian GDP ticked lower to 0.4% in Q3, down from 0.5% in the second quarter. Retail sales slowed to zero in September, down from 0.2% a month earlier.
In the U.S., there were no surprises from PMI reports, which showed expansion in the services sector, while the manufacturing industry continues to contract. In November, the ISM Manufacturing PMI ticked lower to 48.1, while the Non-Manufacturing PMI slowed to 53.9 pts. There was better news on Friday from key employment reports. Nonfarm payrolls soared to 266 thousand, up from 128 thousand a month earlier. Wage growth remained steady at 0.2%, just shy of the forecast of 0.3%. As well, the unemployment rate dropped from 3.6% to 3.5%. This beat the forecast of 3.6%. On the consumer front, UoM Consumer Sentiment climbed to 99.2, up sharply from 95.7 a month earlier.
- HPI: Tuesday, 0:30. The House Price Index is released on a quarterly basis. The index declined by 0.7% in the second quarter and hasn’t posted gains since Q4 of 2018. The estimate for Q3 stands at 0.5%.
- NAB Business Confidence: Tuesday, 0:30. Business confidence improved to 2 pts in October, up from zero a month earlier. Will the uptrend continue?
- Westpac Consumer Sentiment: Tuesday, 23:30. Consumer confidence rebounded with a gain of 4.5%, after two successive declines. We will now receive the December release.
- Chinese New Loans: Wednesday, 11th-15th. Credit levels are an important gauge of economic activity. In October, the indicator slumped to 661 billion yuan, down from 1690 billion a month earlier. Analysts are expecting a strong rebound in November, with an estimate of 1200 billion.
- MI Inflation Expectations: Thursday, 0:00. Inflation expectations often translate into actual inflation figures, so this Melbourne Institute indicator is closely watched by investors. The indicator improved to 4.0% in October, its highest level since February.
*All times are GMT
Technical lines from top to bottom:
0.7165 has held firm since early April.
0.7085 has held since July. This is followed by 0.7022.
0.6960 is protecting the symbolic 70 level.
0.6865 (mentioned last week) is under pressure in resistance after strong gains by AUD/USD last week.
0.6744 is providing support.
0.6686 was tested in the first week of October.
0.6627 has held in support since March 2009. This is followed by 0.6532.
0.6456 is the final support level for now.
I remain bearish on AUD/USD
The RBA held off from another rate cut, but the Australian economy has not been particularly strong. A trade deal between the U.S. and China remains elusive, which is weighing on investor risk appetite and making the Aussie less attractive to investors.