ASX soars to record high post mild Aussie inflation; AUD/USD faces declines amid shifting market dynamics. Stay informed.
In a notable turn of events in the Australian financial landscape, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has achieved an unprecedented high, setting a new record peak. This surge follows the release of Australian inflation data for the final quarter of 2023, which, at 4.1%, surpassed expectations and provided insights into the economic trajectory.
AUD/USD Trends Downward Ahead of FOMC Statement
The Australian dollar (AUD) declined against major currencies, including the US, New Zealand, and Japanese yen. The reason was the release of inflation data that exceeded forecasts, offering a clearer picture of potential future rate cuts. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), navigating the complexities of inflation management, had recently reinstated rate hikes twice to address persistent price pressures.
With the last cash rate hike occurring just in November, market expectations for the magnitude of rate cuts in 2024 were initially cautious. However, there is a growing anticipation of a substantial 50-basis-point reduction in the benchmark interest rate.
Given the preceding sharp bearish movement, the currency pair, AUD/USD, currently trades within an ascending channel, resembling a bear flag. Despite an attempt to break lower, the pair is expected to remain within the channel, pending the impact of the Federal Reserve’s statements. Any indication from the Fed of a reluctance to cut rates in March could limit gains for the US dollar (USD), subsequently leading to a lower AUD/USD. Conversely, a market perception that a rate cut in March is more likely to exert pressure on the USD, thereby lifting AUD/USD.
Australian Markets Soar: ASX 200 Hits High, AUD/USD Declines
AUD/USD is hovering near a critical confluence of support around the 0.6580 level, aligning with the 200 simple moving average (SMA) and channel support. A definitive break below the channel would bring attention to the January swing low at 0.6525, followed by 0.6460—May 2023 swing low. Despite indications of a slowing bearish momentum, as revealed by the MACD indicator with a bullish crossover on the horizon, potential upside levels for AUD/USD include the channel high of 0.6624 and 0.6680—the pre-pandemic low.
ASX 200 Hits All-Time High as Concerns of Further Rate Hikes Diminish
Simultaneously, the Australian stock market, represented by the ASX 200, reached an all-time high, buoyed by the positive inflation data signaling progress in addressing price pressures. This surge in optimism is further fueled by an improved sentiment surrounding China despite the recent three-day decline in the Chinese stock market. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has upgraded its forecast for Chinese GDP, acknowledging the fiscal support measures implemented by Chinese officials.
The ASX 200 surpassed its all-time high of 76.41, reaching an impressive 7682.30 before closing slightly below the peak. Investors and analysts closely monitor the evolving economic landscape, eager to discern the broader implications of these market movements.
As financial markets continue to react to economic indicators and central bank policies, the coming weeks will likely witness heightened volatility and strategic adjustments by investors navigating this dynamic environment.