It could be a wild day for the Aussie dollar as major data releases come thick-and-fast

  • The Australian dollar is mixed against the major crosses in late trade on Tuesday, gaining strongly against the US dollar, Japanese yen and Canadian dollar but losing ground against the British pound.
  • The GDP and euro were supported by news of a Brexit deal being struck between the UK and EU.
  • The economic calendar is stacked on Wednesday, headlined by Australian wage data and US CPI.

The Australian dollar is mixed against the major crosses in late trade on Tuesday, gaining strongly against the US dollar, Japanese yen and Canadian dollar but losing ground against the British pound.

The unusual performance reflects a variety of factors that impacted individual currencies during the session.

Here’s the scoreboard at 8am in Sydney on Wednesday.

AUD/USD 0.7210 , 0.0038 , 0.53%
AUD/JPY 82.03 , 0.41 , 0.50%
AUD/CNH 5.0085 , 0.015 , 0.30%
AUD/EUR 0.6389 , -0.0003 , -0.05%
AUD/GBP 0.5565 , -0.0015 , -0.27%
AUD/NZD 1.0667 , -0.0017 , -0.16%
AUD/CAD 0.9545 , 0.0041 , 0.43%

After initially opening the session at .7172, the AUD/USD surged back above the .7200 level in late trade in Asia, finding support from a sharp rally in the Chinese yuan.

Signs of thawing trade tensions between the United States and China, along with an intervention from Chinese state-backed banks to support the yuan after it weakened sharply earlier in the session, was the catalyst to spark the rally in the Aussie, a move it managed to cling onto for the remainder of the session.

Weak Chinese monetary growth data for October, along with an enormous plunge in the crude oil price which will have implications given the linkages to LNG prices, was largely overlooked by Aussie dollar traders, but not for those dabbling in the Canadian dollar.

AUD/USD Hourly Chart

The Japanese yen — after strengthening earlier in the session — weakened on the back of renewed optimism over US-Sino trade negotiations.

While the Aussie gained against most of the majors, it lost ground against the British pound on news of Brexit breakthrough between the UK and EU.

“GBP is the top G10 performer following news that the UK and EU have agreed on a provisional Brexit deal, but there are still lots of hurdles to overcome,” says Rodrigo Catril, Senior FX Strategist at the National Australia Bank.

“UK Cabinet members now need to decide to back the deal or resign.”

Along with that news, the pound was also supported by data that revealed UK wages excluding bonuses grew by 3.2% in the year to September, the fastest increase in a decade.

After trading higher earlier in the session on the Brexit proposal, the euro gave back most of its earlier session gains on renewed concern over Italian budget negotiations with the European Commission.

“The Italian government confirmed that it plans to keep its deficit and growth targets, effectively challenging the European Commission with an official reply due by the end of Tuesday,” Catril says.

Turing to the session ahead, there’s a plethora of major data releases scheduled in Australia and the Asian region that carry the potential to shift broader market sentiment and direction.

In Australia, wage growth data for the September quarter will be released at 11.30am AEDT. Given its implications for household spending, broader economic growth and inflation, this report has increased in importance in recent years, especially at a time when inflationary pressures in Australia are weak.

This 10-second guide has more on what to look out for the in the report.

Before that arrives, the latest Westpac-MI Australian Consumer Sentiment survey for November will also be released at 10.30am AEDT. The separate ANZ-Roy Morgan survey rose marginally over the past month, meaning a similar outcome may be seen in the Westpac report.

Regionally, preliminary Japanese GDP for the September quarter will be released at 10.50am AEDT. In seasonally adjusted annualised terms, the economy is expected to contract by 1% after growing 3% in the three months to June.

In China, retail sales, industrial output and urban fixed asset investment figures for October will also arrive at 1pm AEDT. Given recent concerns about the Chinese economy, these figures could generate more interest than usual.

Given the Chinese yuan’s continued vice-like grip on the Aussie dollar recently, movements in the former will almost certainly dictate those in the latter today.

Later in the session, German and Eurozone Q3 GDP and French, Spanish, US and UK inflation are the headline acts.

The US inflation report, in particular, could generate some significant volatility in financial markets.