Heads up, mates! We’ve got an eventful week for the Aussie forex pairs, as there are several top-tier economic catalysts lined up. Let’s take a closer look at each of the upcoming events to see what might be in store for the Australian dollar.
1. Chinese PMI readings (Sept 1, 1:00 am GMT)
If there’s anything we’ve learned from Chinese economic releases lately, it’s that these have the potential to spur huge moves, not just for Aussie pairs, but for financial markets around the globe. After all, China is the world’s second largest economy so its performance tends to have far-reaching ripple effect all over the world.
For this week, China is set to release its official manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI readings for August, along with the Caixin final manufacturing and services PMIs for the same month. Recall that the Caixin version of the PMI was considered one of the biggest culprits for spurring the dramatic selloff in Chinese equities the other week since it initially indicated a sharper contraction in the manufacturing industry with a drop from 47.8 to 47.1.
Small upward revisions for both Caixin manufacturing (47.1 to 47.2) and services PMIs (53.8 to 53.9) are expected this time. Meanwhile, the government’s official manufacturing PMI reading might show a fall from July’s 50.0 reading to 49.8, reflecting a shift from expansion to contraction and possibly spurring another Aussie selloff.
2. RBA statement (Sept 1, 4:30 am GMT)
Since Australia is China’s BFF when it comes to export activity, forex market watchers are eager to find out what the head honchos over at the central bank have to say about the recent slump in trade and commodity prices. No actual interest rate cuts are expected for now since the RBA just cut interest rates from 2.25% to 2.00% back in April.
In their previous meeting, RBA officials agreed to keep monetary policy accommodative and to wait for more data before making any adjustments. At that time, some policymakers already highlighted the potential downside risks stemming from the Chinese economy – something that they are likely to zoom in on once more. And if RBA officials see this as enough reason to be more dovish with their outlook, the Aussie could see further downside.
3. Australian GDP (Sept 2, 1:30 am GMT)
By the middle of the week, forex traders will get a better picture of how the Australian economy actually fared in the previous quarter through the country’s quarterly GDP reading. Economic analysts already crunched the numbers and estimated that the Land Down Under probably expanded by 0.4% in Q2 2015, a slower pace of growth compared to Q1’s 0.9% reading.
Looking to come up with your own estimates? I’ve rounded up the latest figures in my monthly economic roundup for Australia!
4. Australian retail sales (Sept 3, 1:30 am GMT)
If you’re hoping to get a head start on seeing how the Australian consumer sector fared at the start of the current quarter, then you gotta take a look at the upcoming July retail sales report. After posting a 0.7% gain in the previous month, consumer spending is projected to have slowed to just 0.4% in July.
Keep in mind that consumer spending accounts for a huge chunk of economic activity, making the retail sales report a pretty good gauge of domestic demand. Stronger than expected figures could spur a pickup in business production and hiring later on, adding to further to overall growth.
5. Australian trade balance (Sept 3, 1:30 am GMT)
Another major component of economic growth in Australia is its export activity, which is reflected in its trade balance. For the month of July, the country’s trade deficit is expected to widen from 2.93 billion AUD to 3.10 billion AUD, possibly indicating another downturn in external demand.
Now a bulk of Australia’s commodity exports is comprised of iron ore and gold, which are shipped over to – surprise, surprise – China. Based on my monthly economic roundup for China, the country was down in the dumps for July since its stock market suffered a 14.3% tumble back then and dragged consumer and business confidence down with it. With that, forex market participants might be bracing themselves for a disappointing Australian trade report for that month.
Are you planning on trading the Aussie pairs during any of these economic events? Or are you just going to keep tabs on the outcomes to see if you should be making any trade adjustments?