Australian Dollar Surges to Three-Month High on Fed’s Dovish Tone

Azeez Mustapha


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The Australian dollar (AUD) catapulted to a three-month high against the US dollar on Thursday, reaching $0.6728 after a 1% rise. This surge was ignited by the Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain unchanged interest rates and convey a more cautious stance on future rate hikes.

Australian dollar chart vs. the US dollar
AUD/USD Daily Chart

The market, although expecting the decision, was taken aback by the dovish tone struck by Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Powell acknowledged the risks posed by slowing global growth and inflation, signaling a potential strategy shift.

The Fed’s move is seen as an effort to avert a harsh economic downturn in the US while grappling with mounting inflationary pressures and disruptions in the supply chain. The timing and extent of future rate adjustments become pivotal, as a swift rebound in inflation could undermine the Fed’s endeavors to temper the economy.

Interestingly, this decision has set off a chain reaction, prompting expectations that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) may slash rates by 50 basis points in 2024.

The AUD’s upward trajectory found additional support from favorable domestic data, revealing the resilience of the Australian labor market despite a yearly high in the unemployment rate. Positive US retail sales data, surpassing expectations, contributed to the AUD’s strength by signaling robust consumer spending amid tight monetary policies.

Looking ahead, the impact of the Fed’s policy shift will likely dominate market sentiment, overshadowing the upcoming Australian and US PMI and industrial production data. The ripple effect on central banks globally underscores the significance of the Fed’s cautious approach.

Australian Dollar Traders Are Net Short

In a snapshot of retail trader sentiment from DailyFX, 48.85% are net-long on the Australian dollar vs. the US dollar, with a short-to-long ratio of 1.05 to 1. Notably, traders have shifted their positions, turning net-short for the first time since December 4, 2023, indicating a bullish contrarian trading bias for AUD/USD amidst changing market dynamics.

Aussie trader sentiment by DailyFX
Image: DailyFX


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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