Forex Pros – After trading at parity for two weeks, last week saw the Australian dollar fall the most against its U.S. counterpart since November amid concerns over the economic impact of massive flooding in the state of Queensland. AUD/USD hit 0.9906 on Friday, the pair’s lowest since December 20; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.9956 by close of trade, tumbling 2.4% over the week. The pair is likely to find support at 0.9861, the low of December 20 and resistance at 1.0075, the high of January 5. The Aussie was hit by huge flooding Queensland which caused significant disruption to the export of natural resources which have helped power economic growth in the nation. Analysts believe the extensive flood damage will rule out the need for any near-term interest rate increase by the Reserve Bank of Australia. Meanwhile, on Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor Department said that non-farm payrolls rose by 103,000 in December, well below the 150,000 forecast gain. However, the unemployment rate fell more-than-expected, sliding to 9.4% from 9.8%. Following the report, the Aussie reversed the day’s losses against the greenback, to close slightly higher on the day. Earlier in the week, the greenback was boosted after a report from payroll processor ADP showed a job expansion of 297,000 in December, almost tripling economists' forecasts and after the Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing index rose to 57.1 December, its highest level since May 2006. In the week ahead, the U.S. is to release a flurry of economic data, with one major highlight being Friday’s report on retail sales, while Australia is also to publish data on retail sales as well as government data on employment. Ahead of the coming week, Forex Pros has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.Monday, January 10 Australia is to begin the week with official data on retail sales, the primary gauge of consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of overall economic activity. The country is also to publish data on job advertisements and construction activity.Tuesday, January 11 Australia is to publish official data on its trade balance, the difference in value between imported and exported goods and services. In addition, the U.S. is to publish official data on wholesale inventories, as well as a report on economic optimism.Wednesday, January 12 Australia is to publish government data on home loans, a leading indicator of demand in the housing market. The U.S. is to publish reports on import prices, crude oil inventories and the federal budget balance, while the Federal Reserve is to publish its Beige Book, which contains analysis that the Federal Open Market Committee looks at when making interest rate decisions.Thursday, January 13 The U.S. is to release a flurry of data, including a key weekly report on initial jobless claims, a leading indicator of overall economic health. The country is also to publish data on producer price inflation and on its trade balance. Later in the day, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is to speak at a public engagement. Traders scrutinize his public engagements as they are often used to drop subtle clues regarding future monetary policy. Elsewhere, Australia is to release official government data on employment change, as well as the country's unemployment rate, a key signal of overall economic health.Friday, January 14 The U.S. is to round up the week with a string of data, including a report on consumer price inflation, which accounts for a majority of overall inflation. The country is also slated to produce official data on industrial production, the capacity utilization rate as well as a report on retail sales, the primary gauge of consumer spending. Later in the day, the country is to produce preliminary data from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment and inflation expectations as well as official data on business inventories.
updated Jan 09, 2011
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