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Risk-On & Retail Sales Sends AUDUSD to 4-Month Highs

Risk-On & Retail Sales Sends AUDUSD to 4-Month Highs

Tyler Yell, CMT, Currency Strategist
Risk-On & Retail Sales Sends AUDUSD to 4-Month HighsRisk-On & Retail Sales Sends AUDUSD to 4-Month Highs

Fundamental Forecast for the Australian Dollar: Neutral

  • Uneven GDP Points to Uncertainty Ahead for Australia’s Economy
  • Less dovish RBA and on balance better data flow helping AUD
  • Identify Critical Turning Points for the Australian Dollar with DailyFX SSI

The Australian Dollar peaked over the October 12th high on Friday. The risk-on sentiment as displayed by the SPX500 back near the 2,100 level and a Reserve Bank of Australian that isn’t looking to talk down the currency like they have in the past has provided a consistent bid under the Australian Dollar. Australia’s currency strengthened most aggressively against the Japanese Yen, Canadian Dollar and US Dollar last week finishing higher by 2% across the board. Not only was AUD benefitted from Economic data in the form of retail sales that came in slightly better than expected at 0.5%MoM vs. exp. 0.4% and GDP, but the pricing in a rate cut by the RBA over the next year has nearly disappeared. If the US Dollar remains on weaker through the month of December, a push toward 0.7500 looks increasingly probable with the fundamental and Intermarket wind in the Australian Dollar’s sails.

This week, we have a handful of key data points in the form of Home Sales MoM, WestPac Consumer confidence as well as the volatile monthly Employment Report. Consumer Confidence will be of particular interest due to the findings of the GDP print last week. Domestic demand showed the sharpest contraction since 2009 on the GDP report; the positive light shed in the exports component of the report. We’ll see if consumer sentiment is holding up given that demand is dropping.

One theme that continues to run this year is that Stevens is less sensitive to speak to what the market wants to hear than other Central Bankers, which shows signs of independent and country specific leadership. Australia’s bonds have been the worst bond investment of the developed markets in 2015 as many investors bought at current yields thinking a cut was around the corner only to have Governor Stevens telling the market that “We’ve got Christmas…We should just chill out, come back and see what the data says.” Stevens also noted the prospects for economic improvement in the economy had firmed, which may keep the Bulls in charge and the Australian Dollar higher.

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