(18 MAY 2017)DAILY MARKET BRIEF 1:AUD extends gains amid solid job report

(18 MAY 2017)DAILY MARKET BRIEF 1:AUD extends gains amid solid job report

18 May 2017, 13:41
Jiming Huang

Among the G10 complex, the Australian dollar was the sole currency in positive territory this morning after the publication of the last job report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Aussie was up 0.26% against the greenback on Thursday, up to $0.7451, while most of currencies partially reversed yesterday’s sharp gains against the USD.

In April, the unemployment rate inched lower for the second month in a row, down to 5.7% from 5.9%, as the economy added 37.4k jobs (seasonally adjusted). The participation rate held steady at 64.8%. However, the details of the report are not that rosy as full-time employment decreased by 11.6k jobs, while part-time employment rose by 49k, suggesting that the job market is not as healthy as the headline figure suggests.

We reiterate our view that the picture is not that bright for the Australian, particularly in view of growing concerns about China’s economic outlook, which sent iron ore prices into free-fall. Therefore, we do not rule out further AUD weakness, even though a stabilisation of the Aussie is the most likely narrative at the moment.

As explained last week, investors are still heavily positioned for further appreciation of the Aussie. The unwinding of the long speculative positions - net long non-commercial positions currently stand at around 21% of total open interest as reported by the CFTC - should continue, which could potentially only accelerate the AUD debasement.

By Arnaud Masset

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