During the quiet trading on Friday, the Australian dollar extended its losses against the US dollar. Prior to the Fed meeting, the Aussie had been in the negative ground and remained flat until the rate increase was concluded. In the mid of the strength of the greenback, a basket of currencies plunged immediately. The gains of the US dollar slowly declined, but the Aussie remained on its bearish track as the oil prices went flat after the mid-session. Can the Australian dollar find a breather and tick higher amid these headwinds?
As of 14:49 UTC, AUD/USD lost 0.23 percent to 0.7341 with a session low of 0.73400 and a session high of 0.73526. The pair opened at 0.73494 after closing at 0.73609 during the overnight session on Thursday.
The downtrend of the pair worsened after it plunged from 0.75000 to 0.73000 levels this week. AUD/USD reached the bottom and traded beyond the lower barrier, suggesting a weak performance. The pair found resistance at 0.74051 and support at 0.73331.
In case of a fall through, the new support would be at 0.72990 while a breakthrough will result in a new resistance at 0.75162. AUD/USD was trading close to its 20-day SMA of 0.73532 and away from its 50-day SMA of 0.73948.
Looking through the movement of the pair from the past, the current bearish path was close to its November low of 0.73084. With no signs of recovery, the pair may imitate this track or even get even deeper at 0.72000 levels.
Meanwhile, oil prices were unsteady after the opening bell despite the major supplies cut of the major oil producers.
In line with the announcement of Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak at the start of the week, Russian oil companies have agreed to the OPEC output curb plan which includes Rosneft. Rosneft shares have been soaring after the Glencore-Qatar deal settled previously.
Kuwait, on the other hand, confirmed the cutting of contractual crude oil supplies in accordance with the agreed effort of the oil cartel. The announcement strengthened the probability of a well-balanced oil market in the coming year.
At the time of writing, Brent crude oil for February contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 0.31 percent to $53.85 per barrel. On the International Commodity Exchange, WTI crude oil lost 0.71 percent to $50.54 for January delivery.
Further, natural gas was down 1.25 percent to $3.39 MMBtu while RBOB gasoline plunged 0.87 percent to $152.87 per gallon.
In the fundamental point of view, the fluctuation of the commodities affects the commodity-linked currencies like the Australian dollar. The economy of these commodity currencies depends strongly on the export of certain raw materials for income. These countries have lots of natural resources like oil or precious metals. This explains the strong correlation of oil with the Aussie.
In case the oil prices remain bearish, there’s a reasonable chance that the Australian dollar will follow the same path. The US currency is widely expected to hover in the coming year as the US central bank signaled for three more rate hikes. When the dollar appreciates, the prices of the commodities would likely drop. Apparently, the Aussie lacks support and this situation may trigger a further downtrend.
Unlike the Fed, the Reserve Bank of Australia couldn’t increase the interest rates due to the slow pace growth of the Australian economy. The Bank also believed that lower interest would support the improvement of the economy and could hype up the domestic demand. Taking account of the current rationale of the RBA, the Aussie might not get a lift.
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