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Forex - AUD/USD weekly outlook: March 10 - 14

Published 03/09/2014, 10:35 AM
Updated 03/09/2014, 10:35 AM
AUD/USD ends the week with a gain of 1.56% - The Australian dollar fell from a three-month against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, after Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens said the exchange rate is "high by historical standards".

AUD/USD rose to 0.9134 on Friday, the pair’s highest since December 11, before subsequently consolidating at 0.9070 by close of trade on Friday, down 0.22% for the day but still 1.56% higher for the week.

The pair is likely to find support at 0.8972, the low from March 6 and resistance at 0.9134, the high from March 7.

The Aussie weakened after RBA Governor Stevens, at his bi-annual Parliamentary testimony, noted that while the local dollar had fallen, it remained high by historical standards.

The Australian dollar rose to a three-month high earlier Friday following the release of strong Australian economic data released throughout the week. On Thursday, data showed that retail sales rose 1.2% in January, beating expectations for a 0.5% gain.

A separate report showed that Australia's trade surplus expanded to A$1.43 billion in January from A$0.59 billion in December. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to narrow to A$0.27 billion in January.

Official data on Wednesday showed that Australia's gross domestic product rose 0.8% in the fourth quarter, exceeding expectations for a 0.7% increase, after a 0.6% expansion in the three months to September.

On Tuesday, the RBA left interest rates unchanged at a record low 2.5%, in a widely expected move.

Separately, official data showed that building approvals in Australia rose 6.8% in January, compared to expectations for a 2% increase.

Data also showed that Australia's current account deficit narrowed to A$10.1 billion in the fourth quarter, from A$12.5 billion in the three months to September.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Labor Department said Friday that the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, well above expectations for 149,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7% from 6.6% in January, as more people joined the workforce.

The upbeat jobs report eased concerns over soft U.S. economic data seen in the past few months and underlined the view that the Federal Reserve is likely to continue to gradually taper its bond-buying program.

Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that speculators reduced their bearish bets on the Australian dollar in the week ending March 4.

Net shorts totaled 41,108 contracts, up 5.1% from the previous week’s total of 38,991 net shorts.

In the week ahead, investors will be anticipating what will be closely-watched data on U.S. retail sales and consumer sentiment for further indications of the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.

Market players will continue to gauge the health of China’s economy after data released over the weekend showed that Chinese exports collapsed 18.1% in February from a year earlier, disappointing expectations for a 6.8% increase.

The significant decline in China’s exports led to a deficit of $22.98 billion last month, compared to a surplus of $31.86 billion in January. Analysts had expected a surplus of $14.5 billion in February.

A separate report showed that consumer price inflation in China rose 2% in February from a year earlier, in line with expectations, while producer price inflation declined 2%, compared to forecasts for a 1.9% drop.

The Asian nation is Australia’s largest trade partner.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets. The guide skips Monday as there is no relevant data on this day.

Tuesday, March 11

Australia is to produce private sector data on business confidence.

Wednesday, March 12

Australia is to release private sector data on consumer sentiment, as well as official data on home loans.

Thursday, March 13

Australia is to publish data on the change in the number of people employed and the unemployment rate, as well as a private sector report on inflation expectations.

The U.S. is to release data on retail sales and import prices, in addition to the weekly government report on initial jobless claims.

Friday, March 14

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on producer price inflation and preliminary data from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment.

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