Australian dollar awaits key employment data

Financial and commodity markets analytics

The Australian dollar is trading slightly lower today awaiting key employment data out of the US which may determine the timing of an interest rate hike by the US Federal reserve.

AT 8.12am GMT the Australian dollar was trading at US77.96c down from US78.06c in yesterdays close

The forecast for the Non-farm payrolls figure today is 240.000 down from last month’s reading of 257,000 and the unemployment rate is predicted to fall to 5.6% down from 5.7%.

ANZ senior foreign exchange strategist Daniel Been noted that a strong non-farm payrolls figure today may force the US Fed to hike interest rates in June

'If we get a strong number tonight, it will likely sharpen people's expectations that we will see a June rate rise,' he said.

'A weak number will not be leapt on too greatly and actually, it will be seen by most as opportunity to sell Aussie dollars at better levels,' he added.

Capital Economics, an economic research group has predicted that the Australian dollar is headed to US70c by the end of the year as the Reserve bank of Australia cuts rates to as low as 1.5%.

"A larger fall in Australian interest rates than the markets expect and more rate hikes in the US will drive down the dollar to a six-year low," Paul Dales, chief Australia & NZ Economist for Capital Economics, said. 

"It could even fall to US65c next year as the RBA keeps rates at 1.5 per cent and as the Fed hikes further."


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