The Australian dollar has started the week with slight losses. In the North American session, AUD/USD is trading at 0.6798, down 0.19%.
Will RBA stay aggressive with a 50bp hike?
The Reserve Bank of Australia meets on Tuesday, with investors unclear as to the size of the next rate move. The markets have priced in a 50 basis point move at 68%, with a modest 25 bp increase at 32%. This means that the RBA will likely deliver a fourth straight rate 50bp rate hike, which would bring the cash rate to 2.35%. The RBA has been waging a battle against rising inflation, which rose to 6.1% in Q2, up from 5.1% in Q1. At the July meeting, the Australian dollar lost ground despite a 0.50% rate hike, and this could be repeated on Tuesday, especially if the RBA opts for a small 0.25% hike.
The central bank has its hands full with rising inflation and a slowing economy. Policy makers are hoping to avoid a recession and guide the economy to a soft landing, but the central bank, like the Fed, has made clear that its paramount goal is to curb inflation and avoid inflation expectations from becoming anchored.
Following the RBA decision, Australia releases GDP for the second quarter. The market consensus stands at 3.5%, which would be an improvement on the 3.3% gain in Q1. Australia recorded a record trade surplus of $A45 billion in Q2, and this should be reflected in a higher GDP
The Aussie remains constrained by weak risk appetite, as the energy crisis in Europe took a turn for the worse on the weekend. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is the main conduit for Russian gas to Europe, failed to reopen on Saturday after three days of maintenance. Russia has now closed the pipeline indefinitely, citing a malfunctioning turbine. Germany is skeptical, to put it mildly, and fears are rising that Moscow is again weaponising energy exports to Europe, which could result in a full-blown energy shortage this winter.
- AUD/USD faces resistance at 0.6846 and 0.6922
- There is support at 0.6737 and 0.6661