AUD/USD falls ahead of employment report

OANDA:AUDUSD   Australian Dollar / U.S. Dollar
The Australian dollar, which has posted strong gains early in the week, has run into a wall on Wednesday. In the European session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.6638, down 0.66%.

Australia releases the February employment report on Thursday (Australia time). Job growth is expected to rebound, with a consensus of 48,500 after a soft January read of -11,500. The unemployment rate is expected to tick lower to 3.6%, down from 3.7%. The Reserve Bank of Australia will be watching closely, as a robust labour market has enabled the central bank to continue its tightening - the Bank raised rates last week by 25 basis points, a 10th straight hike which brought the cash rate to 3.60%. The good news is that the end of the tightening cycle could be near, with the markets pricing in a pause at the April meeting. Consumers and businesses are weary of rising interest rates and confidence indicators do not paint an optimistic picture.

Along with the job data, Australia releases consumer inflation expectations for March. The markets are braced for the indicator to rise to 5.4%, after a 5.1% gain in February. Inflation expectations is a key inflation gauge as it can set the direction of actual inflation, and the RBA will not be happy if inflation expectations accelerate.

There is an uneasy calm in the air as the dust begins to settle after the Silicon Valley Bank collapse. The sky is not falling, not even above US bank towers, as regional bank stocks have rebounded. The US inflation release on Tuesday delivered as expected, with both the headline and core CPI readings matching the estimates. Headline CPI fell to 6.0%, down from 6.4%, while the core rate ticked lower to 5.5%, down from 5.6%. Inflation is cooling but we're not seeing the disinflation process that the markets were celebrating only a few weeks ago.

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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