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AUD consolidates gains as demand for risk improves

AUD - Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar closed higher on Wednesday as a sustained demand for risk and easing fears surrounding the market impact of the coronavirus helped foster an extension of early week gains. Reports a possible vaccine and drug to contain the Coronavirus hit the wires prompted an AUD advance and helped touch intraday highs at 0.6770 before strength across US domestic data sets forced a correction back below 0.6750. Having bounced off year to date lows at 0.6680 a renewed demand for risk and an ongoing improvement in markets assessment of the economic impact of the coronavirus have helped move off key technical supports as attentions turn to key commentary from RBA governor Lowe and the RBA’s monetary policy statement. Having opted to leave rates on hold Tuesday, while maintaining optimistic growth forecasts markets will be keenly attuned to governor Lowe’s words, seeking any signal monetary policy setters will lower rates again as early as March. With resistance on moves approaching 0.6780 and support in tact at 0.6680 we expect the AUD to maintain recent ranges with moves skewed by fluctuations in risk demand driven by coronavirus headlines.

Key Movers

The US Dollar advanced against haven counterparts through trade on Wednesday, buoyed by an extension in heightened risk demand and an uptick in private payroll data. Unchecked reports a possible treatment in the fight against the coronavirus bolstered markets demand for risk driven assets forcing a correction in Yen and Swiss franc. Investors looked to consolidate greenback gains through the north American session as ADP private payroll data, showed 291,000 new employment opportunities were added to the US economy through January, well above the 156,000 anticipated and the largest monthly advance in almost 5 years. Having touched two-week highs against the Yen the dollar forced the Euro lower and prompted a test of 1.10 while the dollar index pushed through 98, up three tenths of one percent to 98.264. Attentions now turn to commentary from ECB president Lagarde Thursday ahead of key Non-Farm payroll and labour market data Friday.

The Great British Pound fell through trade on Wednesday, slipping back below 1.30 as US dollar strength and sustained uncertainty surrounding the post Brexit landscape hampered sterling demand. Having touched lows at 1.2940 the Pound remains largely range bound with upside moves heavily dependent on EU trade talk headlines. With little of note on the domestic macroeconomic docket attentions turn to key US data sets and trade updates/commentary for direction into the weekly close.

Expected Ranges

AUD/USD: 0.6680 - 0.6780 ▲

AUD/EUR: 0.6030 - 0.6230 ▲

GBP/AUD: 1.8980 - 1.9380 ▼

AUD/NZD: 1.0360 - 1.0520 ▲

AUD/CAD: 0.8930 - 0.9010 ▲