Australian Dollar consolidates amid improved US Dollar ahead of US Nonfarm Payrolls

  • Australian Dollar depreciates after the release of mixed domestic economic numbers.
  • Australia’s Trade Balance fell to 7,280M MoM in March from February’s reading of 10,058M.
  • US Dollar could lose ground if Nonfarm Payrolls decline as expected.

The Australian Dollar (AUD) snaps its three-day winning streak following the release of unchanged Final Retail Sales and downbeat Trade Balance data from Australia on Friday. However, the US Dollar (USD) faced downward pressure due to softer labor market data from the United States (US) on Thursday, supporting the AUD/USD pair.

Australia’s Trade Surplus (Month-over-Month) narrowed to 7,280 million in March, falling short of the expected 10,400 million and February’s reading of 10,058 million, according to data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australia’s Exports decreased by 2.2% month-over-month, contrasting with the previous increase of 1.6%. Meanwhile, the nation’s Imports grew by 4.8%, compared to 1.3% prior.

The US Dollar Index (DXY) consolidates with a negative sentiment, reflecting the drop in US Treasury yields, possibly influenced by neutral comments from several Federal Reserve officials. However, the US Dollar might have attracted investors amid market caution due to escalating geopolitical tensions following Israel’s attack on Iran’s embassy in Syria. Traders await US labor market data including Average Hourly Earnings and Nonfarm Payrolls scheduled to be released on Friday.

Daily Digest Market Movers: Australian Dollar depreciates on mixed economic figures

  • Australia’s Final Retail Sales were unchanged at 0.3% in February, which is in line with expectations.
  • Australian Judo Bank Services PMI improved to 54.4 in March from 53.5 in February. Judo Bank Composite PMI increased to 53.3 from the previous reading of 52.4.
  • Australia’s Building Permits (MoM) fell by 1.9% in February against the expected increase of 3.3% and the previous decline of 2.5%. In comparison, there is an increase of 5.2% YoY, compared to the previous increase of 4.8%.
  • RBA March minutes showed that the board did not contemplate the option of raising interest rates. They unanimously agreed that it was challenging to definitively predict future changes in the cash rate. While the economic outlook remained uncertain, the risks appeared to be generally balanced. The board acknowledged that it would require “some time” before they could express confidence in inflation returning to the target level.
  • Federal Reserve (Fed) Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin remarked that disinflation is expected to persist, although the pace of this trend remains uncertain. He stated, “I am open to rate cuts once it is clear that progress on inflation will be sustained and apply more broadly in the economy.”
  • Loretta Mester, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, suggested on Thursday that she would be open to reducing the pace of securities runoff from the Fed’s balance sheet soon. She also anticipated to be in a position to lower the fed funds rate later this year.”
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed the US central bank’s preparedness to implement rate cuts, emphasizing a data-dependent approach. Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic’s remarks advocating for a rate cut in the final quarter of 2024.
  • Adriana Kugler, a member of the Fed Board of Governors, highlighted that the ongoing disinflationary trend would necessitate rate reductions, with expectations of at least three cuts by the last quarter of 2024.
  • US Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended March 29 rose by 9,000 to 221,000 from the previous week’s reading of 212,000, below the market consensus of 214,000.
  • US Challenger Job Cuts posted 90.309K for March against the previous reading of 84.638K.
  • US ADP Employment Change rose by 184K in March, compared to the 155K increase in February, above the market consensus of 148K.
  • US ISM Services PMI eased to 51.4 in March from 52.6 in February, weaker than the expectation of 52.7. US ISM Manufacturing PMI climbed to 50.3 in March from February’s 47.8, surpassing expectations of 48.4.

Technical Analysis: Australian Dollar maintains position below the psychological mark of 0.6600

The Australian Dollar trades around 0.6570 on Friday. The immediate resistance region is observed around the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level of 0.6596, coinciding with the psychological level of 0.6600. A breakthrough above this level could potentially propel the AUD/USD pair to explore the area around the major level of 0.6650 and March’s high of 0.6667. On the downside, key support is identified around the nine-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) of 0.6552 and the major support level of 0.6550. A breach below the latter could exert downward pressure on the AUD/USD pair, potentially leading it toward the psychological level of 0.6500.

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