Australian retail sales stalled in March, coming in flat against forecast monthly growth of 0.2%.
Quarterly retail sales also missed the mark, with growth of just 0.2% for the three months to March — less than the 0.5% forecast.
Currency markets have reacted and the Australian dollar is back under US75 cents for the first time in a week.
Here’s the price action on a five-minute chart:
AxiTrader’s Greg McKenna told BI that last week’s low of 0.7472 US cents now marks a key support level for the Aussie.
“In the very short term, yesterday’s low around 0.7490 needs to hold but the bigger level is 0.7472,” McKenna said.
“That’s the recent low of the AUD/USD and is just below the 0.7475/80 zone, which marks the 50% re-tracement level of the AUD’s broader rally from 2016 to 2018 — a rally which saw the Aussie climb from the low-68 cent region to just above 81 US cents earlier this year.”
Today’s result will add to ongoing concerns about the health of the Australian consumer amid an environment of cooling house prices and low wage growth.
The miss in quarterly retail sales data will likely also weigh on Q1 GDP when it’s released in early June.
Currency markets will also be watching Chinese trade figures which are scheduled for release later today.
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