AUD/USD Rises on Positive Retail Sales Data, CPI Ahead

AUD/USD caught a fresh bid in the Asian session with a retest of the 0.6700 level, helped by marginally better than forecast retail sales numbers. The preliminary MoM retail sales data came in 0.2% against forecasts of 0.1% yet displayed a sharp drop from the January print of 1.8%. The Aussie Dollar has also benefitted from an improvement in risk sentiment and a lackluster start to the week by the US Dollar.

The retail sales print may indicate the lagging effects of rate rises by the Reserve Bank of Australia and suggests that consumers are tightening their spending habits. This makes a case for a pause from the RBA at its upcoming April meeting all the more compelling, given the global and domestic landscape.

We have quite a bit of economic event risk ahead on the calendar this week, starting with today’s US CB Consumer Confidence data and the GDP and Feds preferred inflation gauge, the Core PCE numbers due out on Thursday and Friday, respectively. On the Australian front, we have the CPI data out tomorrow, which could add credence to a pause from the RBA, while a higher-than-expected figure could see those bets fade ahead of the April meeting.

TECHNICAL OUTLOOK

The US Dollar has had an underwhelming start to the week as sentiment improves. A continuation of that today could see the Aussie Dollar continue to rise ahead of the inflation data release tomorrow.

The technical outlook on AUD/USD shows higher highs and higher lows since bottoming out on March 10. However, the price remains below the key 0.6700 level and has struggled to find momentum. The 200-day MA rests above the 0.6750 handle and could cap any gains should we find momentum above the 0.6700 level today ahead of the CPI data release.

Alternatively, a rejection of 0.6700 today and a return for dollar bulls could see the price return toward the 0.66250 support area and potentially a retest of the YTD at 0.6560.

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