AUD/USD consolidates daily gains near 0.6870 following rally on jobs data
- Unemployment Rate in Australia dropped to 5.1% in December.
- Modest decline in Fulltime Employment capped AUD's gains.
- US Dollar Index stays flat near mid-97s on Thursday.
After closing the previous two days with modest losses, the AUD/USD pair gained traction during the Asian trading hours and advances to a daily high of 0.6880 before going into a consolidation phase during the European session. As of writing, the pair was up 0.35% on the day at 0.6868.
AUD capitalizes on labour market data
The data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday revealed that the Unemployment Rate in Australia ticked down to 5.1% in December from 5.2% and came in better than the market expectation of 5.2%. Additionally, the Employment Change came in at +28.9K to surpass analysts' estimate of 15K by a wide margin. However, the Fulltime Employment declined 0.3K to cap the pair's upside.
Commenting on the potential impact of the jobs report on the Reserve Bank of Australia's policy outlook, "the strength in employment over November/December and the associated decline in the unemployment rate to 5.1% at the end of the year from 5.3% in October will reinforce the RBA’s view that the Australian economy appears to have reached a gentle turning point,” said ANZ analysts. "Accordingly, we are no longer forecasting a February rate cut. We still think further rate cuts are more likely than not over the course of 2020, however."
In the meantime, the US Dollar Index continues to move sideways around mid-97s to allow the AUD's performance to drive the pair's action. In the second half of the day, the weekly Initial Jobless Claims and Kansas City Fed's Manufacturing Survey will be looked upon for fresh impetus.
Technical levels to watch for