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AUD/USD Outlook Mired Ahead of RBA Amid Failure to Test March High

AUD/USD Outlook Mired Ahead of RBA Amid Failure to Test March High

David Song, Strategist

Australian Dollar Talking Points

AUD/USD struggles to hold its ground ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) interest rate decision, and the exchange rate may exhibit a more bearish behavior over the coming days as it finally snaps the upward trending channel carried over from March.

AUD/USD Outlook Mired Ahead of RBA Amid Failure to Test March High

AUD/USD gives back the advance following the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting even though Chairman Jerome Powell and Co. endorse a dovish forward guidance for monetary policy, with the exchange rate carving a fresh series of lower highs and lows amid the failed attempt to test the March high (0.6685).

It remains to be seen if the RBA meeting on May 5 will curb the recent decline in AUD/USD as the central bank is widely expected to keep the official cash rate (OCR) at the record low of 0.25%, and the central bank may continue change its tune in May as governments across Australia unveil plans to roll back the lockdown laws.

Image of RBA interest rate decisions

Source: RBA

Efforts to reopen the economy may push the RBA to tame speculation for additional monetary support asthe “various responses were providing considerable support to Australian households and businesses,” and Governor Philip Lowe and Co. may establish a wait-and-see approach for monetary policy as “a recovery was expected once the COVID-19 outbreak was contained.”

In turn, the RBA may adjust the forward guidance throughout 2020 as the central bank carries out the yield curve control program for the 3-Year government bond, and a batch of less dovish comments may spark a bullish reaction in AUD/USD as “members noted that, if conditions continued to improve, it was likely that smaller and less frequent purchases of government bonds would be required.

However, the fears of a protracted recovery may force the RBA to further support the economy as the update to China’s 1Q Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report revealed a pronounced decline in the growth rate, and the Australian Dollar may face headwinds if Governor Lowe and Co. show a greater willingness to implement more non-standard measures in 2020.

As a result, AUD/USD may face a more bearish fate over the coming days as it finally snaps the upward trending channel carried over from March, with the exchange rate carving a fresh series of lower highs and lows following the failed attempt to test the March high (0.6685).

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AUD/USD Rate Daily Chart

Image of AUD/USD rate daily chart

Source: Trading View

  • Keep in mind, the monthly opening range has been a key dynamic for AUD/USD in the fourth quarter of 2019 as the exchange rate carved a major low on October 2, with the high for November occurring during the first full week of the month, while the low for December materialized on the first day of the month.
  • The opening range for 2020 showed a similar scenario as AUD/USD marked the high of the month on January 2, with the exchange rate carving the February high during the first week of the month.
  • However, the opening range for March was less relevant, with the high of the month occurring on the 9th, the same day as the flash crash.
  • Nevertheless, the advance from the yearly low (0.5506) may continue to evolve as the rebound from channel support pushes AUD/USD to a fresh monthly high (0.6559), with the break/close above the Fibonacci overlap around 0.6520 (38.2% expansion) to 0.6540 (78.6% expansion) bringing the 0.6600 (50% expansion) to 0.6650 (61.8% expansion) region on the radar, which sits just below the March high (0.6685).
  • The Relative Strength Index (RSI) has deviated with price as the oscillator snaps the bullish formation from March, but will keep a close eye on the indicator as it approaches overbought territory.

--- Written by David Song, Currency Strategist

Follow me on Twitter at @DavidJSong

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