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Market sees roadblock in way of Fed Rate hikes; USD moves lower

Thursday 23rd February

Australian Dollar:

The Australian Dollar drifted lower from Wednesdays open to an intraday low of 0.7667 as Wage growth continues to disappoint. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe suggested in his Australia -Canada Summit speech that he does not expect wage growth to continue lower. The seasonally adjusted reading of 0.5% for the December quarter was on par with market expectations. Construction work data also failed to disappoint, falling 0.2% for the last quarter 2016, but had little impact on the local currency. Spirits were restored shortly after as Chinese home prices continued to rise, boosting the Australian dollar, hitting eventual highs of 0.7697 to close the Asian session. The Federal Reserve minutes overnight failed to give any hints as to when the next interest rate increase might be with the rhetoric wording of “fairly soon” producing US dollar weakness. The Aussie continues to test major resistance at current levels and opens at 0.7710 ahead of the local Private Capital Expenditures data this morning.

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Today's expected range

0.7630 - 0.7730
0.7120 – 0.7240
1.6050 – 1.6300

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Last Week Market Recap

Monday 20th February 2017

Showed little change for the second consecutive week as Australia reported positive employment data with mixed numbers from the United States. The rate began the week declining on Monday in the absence of any significant data out of either country. The pair then gained ground on Tuesday after making its weekly low of 0.7617 despite better than expected U.S. PPI data. On Wednesday, the rate continued rallying despite U.S. CPI and Retail Sales data, which beat expectations. The pair then sold off after making its weekly high of 0.7731 on Thursday after Australian Employment Change showed the addition of +13.5K jobs last month compared to an expected increase of +9.7K, while the Australian Unemployment Rate declined a notch to 5.7% from 5.8%. The rate continued its selloff on Friday in the absence of any significant economic numbers from either country. AUD/USD closed at 0.7667, with a loss of just -5 pips and virtually unchanged on the week. 

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