AUD/USD clings to gains above 0.6700 as focus shifts to FOMC Chairman Powell
- Home Loans in Australia increased more than expected in December.
- US Dollar Index loses traction following sharp rally.
- Coming up: FOMC Chairman Powell's testimony before Congress.
The AUD/USD pair registered modest gains on Monday and extended its rebound during the Asian session on Tuesday. After climbing to a daily high of 0.6720, the pair retraced a small portion of its daily gains and was last seen trading at 0.6708, adding 0.32% on a daily basis.
Upbeat data lifts AUD on Tuesday
The data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that Home Loans in December increased 3.5% following November's contraction of 0.8% and beat the market expectation of +0.7% by a wide margin. Additionally, the National Bank of Australia's Business Confidence Index improved slightly to -1 in January from -2 and the Business Conditions Index remained unchanged at 3.
In the meantime, China Human Resources Ministry reported that the overall job situation in the country was stable amid the coronavirus outbreak and reiterated that the government will continue to support small and medium businesses.
On the other hand, the US Dollar Index, which advanced to its highest level since early October at 98.91 earlier in the day, has gone into a consolidation phase to help the pair stay in the positive territory.
Ahead of FOMC Chairman Powell's testimony before the Committee on Financial Services of the Congress at 15:00 GMT, the index is down 0.05% on the day at 98.80.
Technical levels to watch for