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Australian Dollar Erases Gains on Continued Construction Weakness

Australian Dollar Erases Gains on Continued Construction Weakness

2011-08-02 01:48:00
David Liu, Technical Strategist
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THE TAKEAWAY: Weaker building approvals > May indicate slowing economy, reduces risk appetite > AUD weakens

An further than expected decline in Australian building approvals that suggested slowing growth in the domestic economy and especially in the construction sector dragged the Australian dollar lower. Despite the setback, the Aussie remains one of the gainers this morning as traders away the RBA’s rate decision and commentary, possibly setting the path of rate decisions for the rest of the year.

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

Building Approvals JUN (MoM)

-3.5%

-3.0%

-6.3%

Building Approvals JUN (YoY)

-15.5%

-10.3%

-13.3%

House Price Index Q2 (QoQ)

-0.1%

-1.0%

-1.1%

House Price Index Q2 (YoY)

-1.9%

-3.0%

0.0%

Second quarter housing price index beat expectations, indicating that consumer real estate demand was not slowing down as much as analysts believed. Although the reading beat analyst expectations, a continued decline indicates prices are still falling for residential property, and may reduce pressure on the Reserve Bank of Australia to raise its target cash rate.

The fall in building approvals pointed towards a still-languishing construction sector in the southern country. Year-over-year approvals have fallen off since the peak set in early 2010, fueled by the burgeoning mining industry. Additional Chinese slowing, which may cut into the demand of Australian raw materials exports, could add more headwinds for the sector.

Australian_Dollar_Weakens_on_Continued_Real_Estate_Sector_Weakness_body_Picture_4.png, Australian Dollar Erases Gains on Continued Construction Weakness

Australia Building Approvals YoY. Chart generated with Bloomberg LP Professional Terminal.

The Australian dollar weakened against its American counterpart immediately after the report, giving back a substantial part of its early morning gains from increased risk appetite after the passage of the US debt ceiling agreement through the House of Representatives. Additionally, Australian dollar traders will be awaiting the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate decision at 0430GMT and its subsequent commentary on the future path of rate hikes. Although the bank has shied away from raising rates again while the global recovery slows, higher than expected Q2 inflation reported last month may change that stance.

Read DailyFX’s commentary on Q2 Australian Inflation here.

Australian_Dollar_Weakens_on_Continued_Real_Estate_Sector_Weakness_body_Picture_5.png, Australian Dollar Erases Gains on Continued Construction Weakness

AUDUSD 5 minute chart; vertical line indicates time of release. Chart generated with FXCM Strategy Trader.

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