Australian dollar rebounds, employment data looms

Aussie rebounds, employment data looms

The Australian dollar is in positive territory on Wednesday. In the North American session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.6488, up 0.54%. The Australian currency slid 1.18% on Tuesday, following the stronger-than-expected US inflation report.

Hot US inflation sends Aussie sharply lower

The Australian dollar suffered its worst one-day performance on Monday since October 2023, sinking 1.16%. This was due to the US inflation report, which fell from 3.4% to 3.1% but was higher than the market estimate of 2.9%. Core CPI remained unchanged at 3.9%, above the market estimate of 3.7%.

The markets reacted to the inflation reading by paring expectations of a March rate cut to just 4%, compared to 16% prior to the report, according to the CME FedWatch tool. In December, the odds of a rate cut in March were above 70%, but strong US data and the Fed’s pushback against a March cut have virtually wiped out the chances of a March move. The markets have fully priced in an initial cut in June but if the economy shows signs of weakness, a May cut is also possible.

Will Australia’s labor market rebound?

Australia releases January employment data on Thursday. The economy lost 65,100 jobs in December, with full-time employment sliding by a massive 106,600, as part-time jobs rose 41,400. We should see a rebound from these very soft numbers, with the market estimate for employment change standing at 30,000. The reading could have a significant impact on interest rate policy, as the central bank has said that its rate decisions will be data dependent.

Australia will also release inflation expectations on Thursday. The RBA will be watching carefully, as inflation expectations can translate into real inflation. Inflation expectations were unchanged at 4.5% in January and are expected to ease to 4.3% in February.

AUD/USD Technical

  • AUD/USD is testing resistance at 0.6478. The next resistance line is 0.6514
  • 0.6419 and 0.6383 and providing support

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