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Australian Dollar Direction Unclear After Holding in Sideways Trade

Australian Dollar Direction Unclear After Holding in Sideways Trade

2011-03-11 23:19:00
Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Sr. Currency Strategist
Australian_Dollar_Direction_Unclear_After_Holding_in_Sideways_Trade_body_Picture_1.png, Australian Dollar Direction Unclear After Holding in Sideways Trade

Australian Dollar Direction Unclear After Holding in Sideways Trade

Fundamental Forecast for Australian Dollar: Neutral

The Australian Dollar finished unchanged on the week against the Greenback, as a gain of 1.3 percent during Friday’s session boosted the antipodean currency. News released during the week proved to be bearish for the Australian dollar, with a slight deterioration of the labor market occurring. Net employment in February dropped by 10.1K jobs, on data showing that 47.6K employees were added to full time payroll while 57.7K jobs were subtracted from part time payrolls. The stumble by the labor market was seemingly anticipated by the Australian consumer, as sentiment in March fell by 2.4 percent according to the Westpac consumer confidence index.

This past week had a few significant events, and event risk thins out nearly entirely for the coming days, with no significant data due. However, some events that tend to be less market moving could spark some short-term volatility. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s minutes from the meeting two weeks ago are expected on Monday. On Tuesday, two events could produce volatility for Aussie-based pairs. The Westpac leading index, a gauge of market conditions that is used to predict the overall growth in the coming months, could continue its expansion since May 2009. That report, coupled with contained consumer inflation expectations, would add to bullish bias for Aussie-crosses.

Price remained in a tight range for another week, with the AUD/USD pair unchanged overall after the rally on Friday. Thin data from Australia means that volatility will need to be rooted in news from the United States. Accordingly, with the FOMC Meeting on Tuesday, AUD/USD pair strength or weakness will be firmly rooted in the commentary following the rate decision. Last week I noted that “should political unrest continue in North Africa and Spread to the Arabian Peninsula, the markets could enter a ‘risk-off’ stage, this would be the fundamental trigger needed for a sharp AUD/USD pair correction.” With political tensions still at high levels, this sentiment remains. -CV

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