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AUD/USD moves sideways below 0.72 as attention turns to RBA minutes

  • US Dollar Index looks to close the day with moderate losses.
  • Crude oil sell-off doesn't allow commodity-related currencies to gather strength.
  • The RBA is scheduled to release the minutes of its December meeting.

After staying very quiet during the first half of the day, the AUD/USD pair struggled to make a decisive move in either direction during the NA session and remained stuck in its 20-pip daily trading range. As of writing, the pair was virtually unchanged on the day at 0.7175.

Although the greenback came under a renewed selling pressure in the US afternoon amid falling T-bond yields, the pair failed to gain momentum as the sharp drop witnessed in crude oil prices hurt the demand for commodity-sensitive currencies such as the AUD. With today's fall, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate settled for the day below $50 for the first time this year. On the other hand, the US Dollar Index is down 0.3% on a daily basis at 97.15.

In the early trading hours of the Asian session, the RBA will release the minutes of its December meeting, at which it decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 1.5%. In an article published last week, NAB analysts argued that the RBA could delay their rate hike until the second half of 2020. “For some time we have noted our expectation of the first rise occurring in mid-2019 was highly data dependent. Growth has generally been as expected, though wages growth and the build-up in inflationary pressure has not,” analysts explained.

Technical levels to consider

The pair could encounter the first resistance at 0.7200 (100-DMA/psychological level) ahead of 0.7250 (20-DMA) and 0.7320 (200-DMA). On the downside, supports could be seen at 0.7150 (Dec. 14 low), 0.7080 (Nov. 1 low) and 0.7000 (psychological level).

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