A pretty busy week ahead for the Aussie, which will see RBA’s meeting minutes AND Australia’s labor market numbers. Here’s what’s up!
RBA’s meeting minutes (Feb 19, 12:30 am GMT)
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) shook the markets earlier this month when it cut its growth forecasts for the next two years.
Turns out, the central bank is worried over global growth slowdown, the lack of wage increases amidst a relatively healthy labor market, and the impact of falling house prices on household consumption and income.
The bombshell came when RBA Governor Lowe shared that (emphasis mine):
“Over the past year, the next-move-is-up scenarios were more likely than the next-move-is-down scenarios. Today the probabilities appear to be more evenly balanced.”
This week’s meeting minutes could shed light on the RBA’s worries. Not only that, but Governor Lowe himself is scheduled to give a speech in Sydney on Thursday at 10:30 pm GMT.
If he keeps some of its optimism from the previous months, then it’s likely that RBA will make positive adjustments to its downgraded forecasts down the road. But if the meeting minutes cites more reasons than we anticipated, then we could see the Aussie repeat its bearish moves from a few days ago.
Labor market numbers (Feb 21, 12:30 am GMT)
Data from the Land Down Under showed that a net of 21,600 jobs were created in December, down from an upwardly revised 39,000 in November but better than the expected 16,500 increase.
Jobless rate also unexpectedly fell for the month, which helped boost the Aussie. Unfortunately, headlines of a major Australian bank making an out-of-schedule mortgage rate increase weighed on the Aussie before the bulls saw any momentum.
This week, analysts expect to see a net addition of 15,000 new jobs for the month of January. The unemployment rate and labor force participation rate are also seen to remain at 5.0% and 65.6% respectively.
Remember that RBA’s Lowe recently said that “it will be appropriate to lift the cash rate at some point” IF jobs growth continued and wages rose more quickly. With the RBA looking closely at the labor market numbers, you can bet that a lot of traders will also look forward to this week’s releases.
Missed last week’s price action? Read AUD’s price recap for February 18 – 22!