Daily FX Trading Update: AUD Retreats on RBA Stevens Testimony

The US dollar had a mixed performance as it reacted mostly to country-specific events. Data from the US was weaker than expected, as the flash manufacturing PMI slid from 50.8 to 50.5 instead of improving to the projected 51.0 reading, but Fed officials reiterated that 2-3 rate hikes are still possible for the year. Only the US new home sales report is due today and a rise from 511K to 521K is eyed.
The euro retreated to the lower-yielding currencies when PMI readings came in mixed. The manufacturing sector looked mostly weaker while the services sector posted gains. The German and euro zone ZEW economic sentiment figures are up for release today and the former is expected to rise from 11.2 to 12.1 while the latter could climb from 21.5 to 23.4.
The pound gave up more of its recent wins when the UK Treasury warned of the repercussions of a Brexit. Still, opinion polls are showing a larger lead in favor of those voting to stay in the EU. BOE Inflation Report hearings are scheduled today but unless there are any major changes to rhetoric, traders could keep taking their cues from Brexit-related updates.
The franc took advantage of the run in risk aversion yesterday, as traders flocked away from the euro towards the Swiss currency. The Swiss trade balance is due today and a wider surplus of 3.14B CHF from the earlier 2.16B CHF is projected.
The yen was also a big beneficiary from the risk-off flows, especially since Finance Minister Aso appeared to be in agreement with the rest of the G7 leaders in avoiding competitive FX devaluation. Data from Japan was weaker than expected, though, as the flash manufacturing PMI slid from 48.2 to 47.6 while the all industries index printed a meager 0.1% uptick instead of the estimated 0.7% increase.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were barely able to recover since risk-off flows were seen yesterday. Earlier today, RBA head Stevens emphasized their focus on inflation-targeting, reminding traders that they could lower rates again if necessary. New Zealand’s trade balance is due next and a smaller surplus of 25 million NZD from the earlier 117 million NZD is expected.

To contact the reporter of the story: Samuel Rae at samuel@forexminute.com

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Samuel Rae is an active retail trader across a variety of assets, including currencies, stocks and commodities and the author of Diary of a Currency Trader (Harriman House). His personal strategy focuses primarily on classical technical charting patterns with a fundamentally supportive bias, combined with a strict, risk management-driven approach to entries and exits. He is an Economics graduate from Manchester University, UK.