The Australian Dollar rose temporarily after strong employment data boosted the outlook for the economy on Thursday, but those gains proved ephemeral after it became clear most of the job gains had been part-time.
Nevertheless, the positive headline data attracted the attention of Société Générale’s head of strategy Kit Juckes, who argued on average full-time jobs were still rising over time.
“Other overnight news included Australian jobs data that saw the unemployment rate fall to 5.7% and employment increase by 37,400. This is a hideously volatile data series, but the 6-month average job gain is now 27,800, up from a low of 800 last September, and that pick-up is mostly driven by full-time jobs," says Juckes in a note to clients seen by Pound Sterling Live.
Buying AUD/USD against the uptrend support at 0.7330 appeals to me the analyst who reckons the Aussie Dollar will soon find form once more.
I have drawn the “uptrend support” which Juckes refers to on the chart below, however, it is not the most significant support level on the chart.
A more important support line is the slanting turquoise trendline at 0.7300, which has been drawn from the 2016 lows.
Whilst this is only 0.0030 below Juckes line and may seem like splitting hairs, it is worth pointing out, as there is a slight possibility the pair could move back down to ‘go all the way’ and actually properly touch the trendline.
Other analysts have questioned whether the Australian jobs data was in fact as good as the headline figure appeared to show.
Morgan Stanley’s Hans Redeker seems to think not as he decides to remain short the pair in a recent note to clients:
“The labour market report was strong on the headline (unemployment rate falling) but saw the pickup in part-time jobs instead of full-time, which fell. Australia' wage data is still expected to be muted, limiting the upside for inflation.”
It is still-to-be -released wage data which will have the most impact on inflation expectations and therefore the Aussie, so until it is out a piece remains missing from the jigsaw puzzle.
Wage growth is grim and currently rests at record lows of 1.9% in Q1 – unfortunately, Q2 data will not be available until August 2017. Redeker continues to stay bearish AUD/USD with a target at 0.6900 and a stop loss at 0.7570.
The chart below shows the pair overlayed with iron prices and reflects the heavy weight of falling iron on the exchange rate.
We have some sympathy for Juckes call to ‘buy against trendline support’, however, from looking at iron ore, which could be finding its feet, and as such might help the Aussie do too.
There is a legacy neckline from an old inverse head and shoulders pattern at the lows for iron ore, near the current $60.00 level, which could provide some much needed support from the pair, however, this is not enough for me to be as bold as SocGen as the more important support line on Iron ore is the green uptrend line, which has already been pierced.
This actually reinforces a bearish outlook for the commodity and posits a potential target back down nearer the $40 mark.
This target is generated according to technical analysis theory which suggests the downside target after a trendline break is normally the same distance as the move prior to the break (a).
Overall, I would prefer to sit on the sidelines as there is insufficient clarity for me to take a position on this pair given the substantial evidence both for and against.