Australian Dollar Weighs RBA Outlook, Risk Appetite Trends
Fundamental Forecast for Australian Dollar: Neutral
- Aussie Dollar Sinks as Chinese GDP Miss Sinks Risk Appetite
- AUDUSD: Prices Rejected at Familiar Range Top Once Again
- Speculative Sentiment Warns of Australian Dollar Weakness
The Australian Dollar suffered heavy losses amid a breakout of market-wide risk aversion last week. Deteriorating RBA policy expectations have likewise weighed on the currency, with traders’ priced-in expectations increasingly leaning toward the probability of two more interest rate cuts over the coming 12 months (according to data compiled by Credit Suisse). The fundamental backdrop offers conflicting cues in the coming week however, making for a clouded outlook and hinting at volatility ahead.
On the RBA policy front, a pickup in inflation has scope to trim interest rate cut bets. The year-on-year price growth rate is expected to hit 2.8 percent in the first quarter, marking the highest reading since the three months ending December 2011. Negative overtones from Chinese economic data threaten to undermine upside momentum however. April’s flash Manufacturing PMI print is set to show industrial-sector activity slowed from the prior month.
While the moderation is expected to be fairly narrow, data from Citigroup reveals that Chinese economic news-flow has increasingly underperformed relative to consensus forecasts over the past month, warning of the risk of a downside surprise. Such an outcome stands to weigh on the outlook for Australian export demand, warning of mounting headwinds facing economic growth and underpinning the case for a further easing of monetary policy.
The risk sentiment side of the equation likewise offers no shortage of catalysts. The preliminary set of April’s Eurozone PMIs will update investors on the severity of recession in the currency bloc, with expectations pointing to deterioration. First-quarter US GDP figures are due to show a firm acceleration but it is unclear to what extent a strong outcome can overcome slowdown fears. Signs of softening performance began to emerge in March, meaning the cumulative GDP number may be seen as skewed to the upside relative to reality. Finally, investors continue to watch the flow of corporate earnings releases guidance on firms’ global output expectations, with 170 companies in the benchmark S&P 500 index due to report in the coming week.
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