AUD/USD Exchange Rate Forecast: Australian Dollar Recoups Losses as US Data Disappoints

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One Hundred United States Dollars (USD)

The Australian Dollar to US Dollar (AUD/USD) exchange rate advanced during the Australasian session despite China’s manufacturing PMI proving a cause for concern.

While China’s HSBC Manufacturing PMI gauge slumped to a seven-month low, and fell below the 50 mark separating growth from contraction, the minutes from the latest Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) policy meeting lent the ‘Aussie’ support.

Chinese Manufacturing Contracts, AUD/USD Exchange Rate Boosted by Minutes

The minutes, as usual, commented on the Australian Dollar being ‘high by historical standards’. This well-worn reference had little impact however as investors chose to play closer attention to the fact that the RBA dismissed concerns regarding the likelihood of interest rates being cut in 2015.

In the December meeting it was stated; ‘Very low interest rates had supported activity in the housing market, which in turn was expected to support consumption. However, members noted that subdued labour market conditions were likely to weigh on consumption growth and consumer confidence more generally.’

US Dollar Demand Undermined by Disappointing US Data

During North American trading, the Australian Dollar to US Dollar (AUD/USD) exchange rate was able to continue trending in a stronger position as the US released a run of below-forecast reports.

Firstly, US building permits were shown to have fallen by -5.2% on the month in November rather than the -2.5% expected. This followed a positively revised increase of 5.9% in October. Housing Starts, which had been forecast to increase by 3.1% on the month, registered a -1.6% drop.

These figures were followed by the Markit US Manufacturing PMI for December.

It had been projected that the gauge of the manufacturing sector would advance from 54.8 to 55.5 in December, but it actually fell to 53.7.

The PMI was an 11-month low and saw analyst Craig Drake observe; ‘US manufacturing output and new orders continued to rise at a solid pace in December, but both rates of expansion eased to the weakest for 11 months. The latest survey also highlighted a moderation in job creation and input buying growth across the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, goods producers benefitted from a slowdown in cost inflation to its lowest since April 2013, reflecting falling commodity prices and oil-related costs.’

The US Dollar extended losses against peers like the Pound and Euro after the reports were published and the Australian Dollar to US Dollar (AUD/USD) exchange rate achieved a high of 0.8274.

The Australian Dollar to US Dollar exchange rate could register further movement overnight following the publication of the Westpac Leading Index.

The Australian Dollar to US Dollar (AUD/USD) exchange rate was trading in the region of 0.8221 during the European session.

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