The Australian dollar is drifting lower ahead of major economic data out today

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The Australian dollar drifted lower on Monday, weighed down by a combination of renewed geopolitical concerns on the Korean Peninsula and soft economic data ahead of the release of Australia’s Q2 GDP report on Wednesday.

Here’s the scoreboard as at 7am AEST.

AUD/USD 0.7945 , -0.0022 , -0.28%
AUD/JPY 87.12 , -0.66 , -0.75%
AUD/CNH 5.1867 , -0.0177 , -0.34%
AUD/EUR 0.6675 , -0.0015 , -0.22%
AUD/GBP 0.6143 , -0.0010 , -0.16%
AUD/NZD 1.1089 , -0.0001 , -0.01%
AUD/CAD 0.9861 , -0.0014 , -0.14%

As seen in the hourly chart below, the AUD/USD — after a sharp drop at the start of the session that was subsequently reversed — gradually lost ground in European trade, grinding lower in thin, holiday-impacted trade.

US markets were closed for the Labor Day Holiday.

AUD/USD Hourly Chart

In the absence of any new developments from North Korea, movements in the Aussie today are likely to be driven by a raft of major economic data that will be released during the session.

In Australia, markets will receive the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index along with the Ai Group’s Performance of Services (PSI) indicator for August at 9.30am AEST.

Those releases will be followed two hours later by Q2 Balance of Payments (BoP) and government expenditure figures, inputs that will flow into Australia’s Q2 GDP release on Wednesday.

Markets will be keeping a close eye on the net exports contribution figure contained in the BoP report given uncertainty created by supply disruptions to Queensland’s coal industry as a result of Cyclone Debbie at the start of the quarter.

A small 0.05 percentage point detraction from GDP is expected, but this release can and does have a history of surprising.

Australia’s current account deficit is also tipped to increase to $7.4 billion for the quarter.

After the flurry of economic data releases, attention will then turn to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) September interest rate decision at 2.30pm AEST.

Few are expecting much to come from the post-meeting statement which is clearly a risk should the RBA deliver a surprise. This 10-second guide has more on what to expect.

Outside of Australia, data highlights on Tuesday include services PMI reports for August from China, Europe and the UK, Eurozone retail sales along with the Empire State manufacturing index, factory orders and revised durable goods orders from the United States.

On the monetary policy front, Lael Brainard and Neel Kashkari of the US Fed are both scheduled to deliver speeches.

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