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Australian Dollar Calm Ahead of Consumer Confidence

The Australian dollar has started the week quietly. AUD/USD is trading at 0.6648 early in the North American session, up 0.11% on the day.

Australia releases Westpac Consumer Sentiment early on Tuesday. Consumer confidence has been weak and fell 0.3% in May to 82.4, following a 2.4% decline in April. Consumers have been pessimistic about the weak economy and concerns that sticky inflation could prod the Reserve Bank of Australia to hike interest rates.

The RBA has maintained its stance of “higher for longer”, holding rates at 4.35% for the past five meetings. The central bank hasn’t shied away from warning that it could raise rates if inflationary pressures don’t ease. The April CPI report surprised on the upside, rising from 3.5% to 3.6%, above the market estimate of 3.5%. The May CPI report will be released on Wednesday, with a market estimate of 3.8%. If inflation does rise again, we will no doubt hear the RBA express its concern and reiterate that rate hikes remain on the table.

The economy is barely treading above water and posted a weak 0.1% gain in the first quarter, but the labor market, which is surprisingly tight, continues to confound the RBA and has dampened any hope of a rate cut in the near term.

There are no US releases on Monday but we’ll hear from two FOMC members, Christopher Waller and Mary Daly. Investors will be hoping for some insights about the Fed’s rate path. The Federal Reserve has been hawkish as inflation has been stickier than anticipated. The markets have priced in a rate cut in September at around 60%, according to CME’s FedWatch.

AUD/USD Technical

  • AUD/USD is testing resistance at 0.6655. Above, there is resistance at 0.6685
  • 0.6591 and 0.6541 are the next support levels

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