Australian dollar climbs on strong employment data

Market Pulse · 17 Mar 13.4K Views

The Australian dollar has taken investors on a roller-coaster ride this week, reflective of the gyrations we’re seeing in the financial markets. In the North American session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.6656, up 0.56%.

Australian job growth outperforms

Australia’s employment report for February was stronger than expected. The economy produced 64,600 news jobs, after a decline of 10,900 in January. This beat the estimate of 48,500. What was especially encouraging was that full-time jobs rose by 74,900, with part-time positions declining by 10,300. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, its lowest level in almost 50 years, down from 3.7% and below the estimate of 3.6%.

The tightness in the labour market has allowed the RBA to aggressively tighten, with ten straight rate hikes since April 2022. Inflation slowed to 7.4% in January, down from 8.4% in December, so the rate hikes are having an effect on curbing inflation. Still, it will be a long road back to the inflation target of around 2%. The central bank is leaning to taking a pause at the April meeting and leaving the cash rate at 3.60%. Major central banks are moving away from continued tightening and the RBA will have to take that into account, as well as the Silicon Valley crisis which has investors on edge about contagion spreading. Central banks have to be cautious with all the market turmoil, for fear that additional tightening would make a global recession more likely.

Market pricing of rate moves has been gyrating like a yo-yo, and currently there is a 10% chance that the RBA will cut rates by 25 basis points at the April meeting. Just a month ago, the markets expected rates to peak at 4.1% in August. The SVB crisis has completely shifted pricing and the markets are currently expecting rates to fall to 3.35% by August.On

There was more good news as Australian consumer inflation expectations for March ticked lower to 5.0%, down from 5.1% and below the forecast of 5.4%.


AUD/USD Technical

  • AUD/USD is testing support at 0.6639. Below, there is support at 0.6508
  • 0.6713 and 0.6844 are the next resistance lines

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