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Australian dollar steady against the US dollar

Daily Currency Update

The Australian dollar is effectively unchanged this morning when valued against the Greenback. The Aussie fell in early trade yesterday after a consumer confidence gauge triggered fresh concerns about a slowing economy. Australian Westpac Consumer Sentiment Index, which fell 4.8% in March to 98.8 from 103.8 in February, again below 100 and at its lowest level since September 2017.

Looking ahead today and we will see the release of Consumer Inflation Expectations by the Melbourne Institute for the month of March, previously at 3.7%. China will unveil January Retail Sales and Industrial Production, both seen increasing at a slower pace when compared to the previous month.

From a technical perspective, the AUD/USD pair is currently trading at 0.7093. We continue to expect support to hold on moves approaching 0.7060 while now any upward push will likely meet resistance around 0.7100.

Key Movers

The New Zealand dollar edged lower through trade on Wednesday despite broader risk on moves. In the absence of headline data events the NZD fell victim to broader positional plays moving below 0.6850 to touch intraday lows at 0.6830 as investors looked to take profits on key crosses. Having touched year to date highs against the AUD, EUR and JPY the NZD edged lower across the board, ending the day as the worst performer among major units.

The NZD was dragged lower by softness across Australian data sets and a dip in Aussie yields that manifested and prompted a correction in 3 and 10 year NZ swaps, forcing 10 year yields toward record lows below 2.4% as the curve now suggests the RBNZ will but rates at some point in the 12 months to February next year.

With little of note on the docket today, the NZD will continue to fluctuate on the back of broader trends as our immediate macroeconomic focus turns to next week’s Q4 GDP print. With resistance on moves approaching 0.69 intact we expect the NZD to maintain recent ranged between 0.6750 and 0.69 through the short term.

The Pound is stronger this morning when valued against the Greenback. The Sterling rallied in late Wednesday, hitting a session high of 1.3378, after British lawmakers rejected leaving the European Union without a deal in any scenario. The non-binding vote will increase pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to rule out a “no deal” exit and paves the way for a vote to delay Brexit.

Looking ahead today in the UK and lawmakers will now meet again to try to approve an extension for the departure date and take March 29 deadline out of the table.

From a technical perspective, the GBP/USD pair is currently trading at 1.3321. We continue to expect support to hold on moves approaching 1.3220 while now any upward push will likely meet resistance around 1.3380.

The US dollar moved lower through trade on Wednesday after core PPI and durable goods orders fell short of market expectations, affirming bets the Fed will not raise rates in the immediate short term. Producer prices remained largely flat through February rising just one tenth, the weakest increase in more than18 months and perhaps a signal of broader stagnation across price pressures. When coupled with a marginal decline in Durable goods orders and a surprise down turn in employment growth yesterday PPI print backends what has been a largely disappointing period for US data sets.

Macroeconomic indicators throughout February have been weaker than anticipated with many analysts anticipating an uptick in the wake of the Federal Government shutdown. The slowdown has taken some of the sting out of recent USD strength and forced the dollar index back below 97 and 96.50 to 96.49 at time of writing.

With risk appetite buoyed by Britain’s rejection of a vote to leave the EU without a deal, attentions now turn a host of middling data sets through Thursday and Friday, leading into next week’s FOMC policy meeting.

The single currency unit continued its upwards trajectory overnight breaking through the 1.1300 handle. Industrial production was impressive in its 1.4% gain for the month of January, beating forecasts of 1.0%. Opening the morning at 1.1285, the EUR/USD was steady into the European session with intraday highs of 1.1330 seen in early morning trade.

Euro saw losses against the Sterling as the Pound climbed higher following the UK Parliament vote to reject a “no deal” Brexit. The EUR/GBP cross saw falls from 0.8650 to its lowest levels since May 2017 of 0.8485 with further volatility expected on Thursday as a vote to extend Article 50 hits headlines.

Final Inflation figures are due for release this morning in both Germany and France with Brexit voting outcomes continuing to be the main drivers in the market at present.

The USD/CAD continued its slide into the 1.33 handle, testing support on early morning trade this morning. Opening at 1.3350, the Loonie saw gains overnight as both Core Durable Goods Orders and PPI in the Unites States missed forecasts, pushing the Greenback lower.

The main catalyst for positive movements in the Loonie was a favourable gain on WTI crude and oil prices in general as the Energy Information Administration reported an inventory decline of 3.9 million barrels for the week to March 8 from 7.1 a week earlier. WTI crude was up 2.45% to $58 a barrel with movements in the USD/CAD during the North American session from 1.3340 to 1.3296 on open this morning.

Locally there is little news on the agenda as market participants look towards the release of Manufacturing Sales on Friday evening to end the week.

Expected Ranges

  • AUD/NZD: 1.0300 - 1.0400 ▲
  • GBP/AUD: 1.8500 - 1.9100 ▲
  • AUD/USD: 0.7050 - 0.7150 ▲
  • AUD/EUR: 0.6200 - 0.6300 ▼
  • AUD/CAD: 0.9400 - 0.9500 ▼