The Australian dollar is licking its wounds today, after a brutal collapse on Tuesday. AUD/USD is trading at 0.6739 in the European session, up 0.12%.
US inflation sends USD soaring
On Tuesday, I noted that the Australian dollar had edged higher, thanks to decent consumer and business confidence data. That changed in a hurry after the US inflation report, and by the end of the day, AUD/USD had plunged an astounding 2.29%. The Aussie wasn’t alone, as the US dollar posted sharp gains against all the major currencies.
In the US, investors were dismayed with the August inflation report, even though headline inflation fell to 8.3%, down from 8.5%, thanks to lower gasoline prices. The reading was well above the consensus of 8.0%, and core CPI rose to 6.3%, up from 5.9% and above the forecast of 6.1%. The markets reacted sharply to the news, as equity markets slumped and the US dollar was off to the races. The market response was a polar opposite to the July inflation report, when market euphoria sent the stock markets flying and the US dollar tumbling.
The latest inflation numbers have removed any expectations of a modest 50bp increase at the Fed’s meeting next week and have raised the possibility of a massive 100bp hike. The markets have priced in a 75bp increase at 60% and a 100bp rise at 40%, compared to 80% for 75bp and 20% for 100bp after the inflation report was released. I expect these odds to continue to fluctuate as we get closer to the September 21st meeting. Larry Summers, a former Treasury Secretary, said on Tuesday that the inflation report indicated that the US has a “serious inflation problem” and a 100bp move would “reinforce credibility”.
Market attention will shift to the Australian employment report on Thursday. The market consensus stands at 35.0 thousand for August, which would be a huge rebound after the -40.9 thousand reading in July. A strong release will make it easier for the RBA to remain aggressive as it continues to battle inflation. The RBA will be keeping a close eye on Consumer Inflation Expectations, which will also be released on Thursday. The index is expected to rise to 6.7% in August, up from 5.9% in July.
- AUD/USD is testing resistance at 0.6737. Above, there is resistance at 0.6807
- There is support at 0.6629 and 0.6559
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