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Major Event Risk Looms for AUD/USD

Major Event Risk Looms for AUD/USD

Boris Schlossberg, Technical Strategist

After reaching new yearly highs against the Australian dollar, the US dollar could either see profit taking or continue its rally once Australian private investment data is released early Thursday.

It’s been a very quiet night of trading in Europe, characterized by some profit taking against the US dollar (USD) after the greenback rallied during the Asian session. The dollar set fresh yearly highs against the Australian dollar (AUD) with AUDUSD dropping to a low of 95.27 before finally finding some support ahead of the 95.00 figure.

The Aussie continues to get pounded as the market is convinced that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will be forced to cut rates yet again, but we are skeptical that central bank will act any time soon unless the economic situation begins to deteriorate markedly.

The latest data out of Australia did show some weakening with the Westpac leading economic indicator dropping to 0.2% from 0.6% the month prior, but the decline was not precipitous and the data is generally not heavily followed by the market.

Instead, currency traders will be focused on Thursday’s Australian report on private capital expenditure. The bears central thesis rests on the assumption that investment flows in Australia will begin to contract significantly, reversing the multi-year boom.

If tomorrow's data does miss its mark, the Aussie could tumble through the key 95.00 figure, but if the data proves better than expected, the AUDUSD pair could finally see a short-covering rally, especially given the fact that the 95.00 level should represent an attractive bargain entry to some longer-term, real-money investment accounts.

Profit-Taking Rally Seen in EUR/USD

Meanwhile, in Europe, the action was very subdued with EURUSD and GBPUSD both carving out narrow ranges in generally listless trade. German unemployment printed worse than expected at 21K versus 5K forecast. This was the fourth straight monthly gain in joblessness, suggesting that the recession in Europe is starting to take its toll on German labor markets.

The data may have been exaggerated by unseasonably cold weather and the large amount of public holidays in May, but nevertheless, the data is clearly pointing to a slowdown. The German economy has stopped producing new jobs even though the overall unemployment rate remains at 6.9%.

The EURUSD shrugged off the news and rallied in the aftermath of the release, rising to 1.2895. The rally was less driven by any fundamental factors and more a function of some profit taking in the dollar. After posting gains yesterday, the greenback was due for a pullback as longs booked some short-term gains.

Bond Yields Are Driving USD/JPY

The dollar correction may become especially evident in USDJPY, which failed to hold the 102.50 level yesterday and now finds itself at 101.75 this morning. The pair appears to be locked in a tight range of 102.50 to 101.00 as reputed option barriers and oscillating yields in Japanese government bonds and US Treasuries have kept the moves contained.

With no US data on the economic calendar today, USDJPY price action may once again be driven by the fixed-income markets. US yields are a bit off their highs, and if they correct further, USDJPY may follow to test support near the 101.50 level. For now, however, the currency markets remain in a consolidative standoff.

By Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.