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Australian Dollar holds at the 80c level against the U.S Dollar

By Shameem Musa

The Australian dollar edged marginally lower throughout domestic trade yesterday following a second quarter GDP print that failed to incite continued upward momentum. Despite coming in squarely on general market expectations some investors had hoped for a stronger than anticipated print following a string of upbeat macroeconomic indicators, driven by improved construction output. Moving lower the AUD came off the psychological 0.80 handle and touched intraday lows at 0.7964 before support came from the Bank of Canada and a surprise upward adjustment in interest rates. The BoC’s rate hike sparked renewed demand for higher yield assets and sent the USD lower allowing the AUD to again test and move through 0.80 cents. Profit taking remains on moves beyond this threshold with key technical resistance in tact on moves approaching 0.8030/40. Attentions now turn to monthly retail sale and trade balance data for direction throughout Thursday.

Having performed strongly through trade on Tuesday investors seemingly appeared driven to unwind much of the gains through trade on Wednesday and the Kiwi was forced lower. Having touched early highs at 0.7262 the NZD slipped back below 0.72 but found support again on moves approaching 0.7190. This remains a key point of technical support, however, having already been broken the door is open to another downward drive. Attentions today turn offshore with no domestic data on hand to drive direction we will be watching ranges between 0.7130 and 0.7280.

The Great British Pound has continued its upward trajectory against the U.S Dollar touching four-week highs and trading as high as 1.3082 during Wednesdays trading session. There was no macroeconomic data to support the move however the Pound spiked on hopes of progress in Brexit negotiations as parliament discusses European Union repeal bill. GBP is also benefiting from escalating tensions over North Korea which is continuing to weigh on the Greenback. The pair has pulled back since and currently changing hands in the early Asian session at 1.3045. Technical levels to watch; expect immediate resistance at 1.3080 following by 1.3120 with pair seeing support around 1.3010.

Despite a fall in German factory orders the EUR/USD remained close to and above the 1.19 handle when valued against its US counterpart. The data showed a decline of 0.7% missing a forecast rise of 0.3%, suggesting Europe’s powerhouse could be running out of steam. Meanwhile in the US data showed that the service sector grew last month, the ISM non-manufacturing index rose from 53.9 in July to 55.3 in August. The Markit services PMI also told a similar story of stronger activity, revised downwards from 56.9 to 56.0 in the final estimate for August, but was still up from the 54.7 reading in July. In other news Bank of Canada surprised markets and lifted interest rates from 0.75% to 1.0%. The markets will be keeping a close eye on the ECB today which will be holding its monthly meeting. The ECB’s current asset-purchase program terminates in December, and the bank will have to decide on a new scheme, the recent strength in the EUR/USD doesn’t help matters.