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By Kenny Fisher

AUD/USD has edged lower in Thursday trading, as the pair trades in the high-0.92 range in the North American session. In economic news, US Unemployment Claims was a disappointment, as the indicator jumped to a nine-week high. There was better news from ISM Manufacturing PMI, which beat the forecast. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen addresses a bank conference in Washington. In Australia, Import Prices posted a strong gain and easily beat the estimate.

US Unemployment Claims failed to impress on Thursday, as the key indicator jumped to 344 thousand, well above the estimate of 317 thousand. It marked a nine-week high, and comes just a day before Nonfarm Payrolls is released. If the latter follows suit with a weak reading, we could see the dollar take a hit. Meanwhile, ISM Manufacturing PMI hit a four-month high, as the index rose to 55.4 points. This was slightly shy of the estimate of 55.8 points.

As expected, the Federal Reserve trimmed its QE program by $10 billion on Wednesday. This marks the fourth cut since December, reducing the asset purchase scheme to $45 billion/month. The tapers are no longer creating headlines as they did just a few months ago, and the dollar didn't get any lift against its major rivals. What interested the markets more was the Fed statement that interest rates would remain low for a "considerable time" after QE ends. The markets expect QE to wind up before the end of the year, so we could see a rate hike in early 2015, depending of course, on the strength of the US economy and the job market.

The ADP Nonfarm Payrolls were released on Wednesday, ahead of the critical official NFPs later in the week. The news was positive, as the indicator jumped to 220 thousand, marking a four-month low. This easily beat the estimate of 203 thousand. Advance GDP couldn't keep pace, as the key indicator's upward swing came to a crashing halt, with a Q1 gain of just 0.1%, compared to a 3.2% reading in Q4. This was well off the estimate of 1.2%. Is the US economy stalling? The weak reading could be a result of a harsh winter, but this will be of little consolation to the markets, and the dollar could lose ground against its major rivals.

AUD/USD for Thursday, May 1, 2014

Forex Rate Graph 21/1/13

AUD/USD May 1 at 14:10 GMT

AUD/USD 0.9268 H: 0.9313 L: 0.9261

AUD/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
0.9000 0.9119 0.9229 0.9361 0.9446 0.9542

  • AUD/USD has edged lower in Thursday trade. The pair pushed above the 0.93 line early in the European session but has since retracted.
  • On the downside, 0.9229 is providing support. Next is 0.9119, which is protecting the key 0.9000 level.
  • 0.9361 is a strong resistance line.
  • Current range: 0.9229 to 0.9361.

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 0.9229, 0.9119, 0.9000 and 0.8893
  • Above: 0.9361, 0.9446, 0.9542, 0.9617 and 0.9703

OANDA's Open Positions Ratio

AUD/USD ratio is unchanged in Thursday trading. This is consistent with the movement of the pair, as the Aussie has not shown any significant movement. The ratio has a majority of long positions, indicative of trader bias towards the Australian dollar moving to higher ground.

AUD/USD has edged lower on Thursday. The pair has posted slight losses in the North American session.

AUD/USD Fundamentals

  • 1:30 Australian Import Prices. Estimate 1.9%. Actual 3.2%.
  • 6:30 Australian Commodity Prices. Actual -12.6%.
  • 11:30 US Challenger Job Cuts. Actual 5.7%.
  • 12:30 US Fed Chair Janet Yellen Speaks.
  • 12:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 317K. Actual 344K.
  • 12:30 US Core PCE Price Index. Estimate 0.1%. Actual 0.2%.
  • 12:30 US Personal Spending. Estimate 0.7%. Actual 0.9%.
  • 12:30 US Personal Income. Estimate 0.4%. Actual 0.5%.
  • 13:45 US Final Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 55.8 points. Actual 55.4 points.
  • 14:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI. Estimate 54.3 points. Actual 54.9 points.
  • 14:00 US Construction Spending. Estimate 0.5%. Actual 0.2%.
  • 14:00 US ISM Manufacturing Prices. Estimate 59.4 points. Actual 56.5 points.
  • 14:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate 75B.
  • All Day - US Total Vehicle Sales. Estimate 16.2M.

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are GMT

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Source: AUD/USD - Slight Losses As U.S. Posts Mixed Data