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Forex Flash: Australia's forecasts for March range from -1% to 0.5% - Westpac

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Australia’s busy week starts with March retail sales, Apr TD inflation gauge and Apr ANZ job ads out today, notes Sean Callow, FX strategist at Westpac.

Sean goes on to say: "The key for AUD is of course retail sales (1.30GMT) where we will see both Mar month and Q1 sales. After a dismal Q4, sales rebounded steeply in Jan (1.2%) and Feb (1.3%). It is this high starting point in Feb that underpins our call for -0.5% m/m but a solid 1.7% q/q inflation-adjusted. Forecasts for Mar range from -1% to 0.5%, with a median of 0.1%. If we see a headline near Westpac’s forecast, AUD/USD should slip about 30 pips."

Sean doubts "the RBA Board will place much weight on the retail data at tomorrow’s meeting though, which the market views as on a knife edge, pricing -12bp" he adds.

"A respected RBA watcher in The Australian in today’s paper came down more firmly for no change on Tue but a counterpart at the AFR on Sat made the case for not waiting. The AFR also reported that Treasury is planning to cut its 2012-13 and 2013-14 GDP forecasts from 3% to 2.75% in next week’s budget" Mr. Callow concludes.

Forex Flash: Local event risk is expected to drive the NZD this week – BNZ

The NZD/USD continued to edge higher last week, closing up 0.51% at 0.8508. Some analysts are viewing the recent strength as quite impressive given the lackluster economic data out of China and Australia. It could be a volatile upcoming week for the pair with a few important economic releases to keep an eye on.
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