At the very end of last week in the last two hyours of trading in New York, the Aussie Dollar got back on to a US 79 cents big figure for the first time since September 26th, reaching a high of 0.7922 just before the close. This morning in Asia and then in Europe, it has extended gains to just over 0.7965 as gold continues its very strong performance.
The yellow metal began last week at $1318 per ounce and after dipping to $1309 on Wednesday, it then rose persistently and virtually without correction up to a high of $1337 on Friday; the highest since September 10th 2017, whilst silver, platinum and aluminium all registered weekly gains. Today, gold has added another $5 to $1342 to be up $33 in just four trading sessions.
For the week ahead as people drift back to work after the holidays, the big number to watch will be Thursday’s employment report. Consensus expectations are for a 15,000 increase in December employment after a huge 61,600 increase in November. Last time around, full-time employment increased 41,900 to 8,501,900 and part-time employment increased 19,700 to 3,901,100 although the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4%. It is generally estimated that, over time, around 14-15k new jobs per month are enough to keep pace with demographic change and leave the unemployment rate steady though this doesn’t always hold for every individual month’s data. Ahead of this, we’ll get to see Westpac’s index of consumer confidence on Wednesday and figures on new motor vehicle sales tomorrow.
The AUD opens in North America this morning at USD0.7945 with AUD/CAD at 0.9880 and AUD/NZD1.0900.