An unexpectedly smaller Australian trade balance in January, in addition to a rising U.S. dollar, have put downward pressure on the AUD/USD exchange rate over the last two days.
Yesterday’s press release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which showed Australia's trade balance dropping to $1.30 billion - lower by $2.52 billion when compared to analysts’ estimates of 3.82 billion - triggered a sell-off in the Aussie dollar:
The ABS said:
“In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance on goods and services was a surplus of $1,302m in January 2017, a decrease of $2,032m (61%) on the surplus in December 2016.”Since yesterday, the Australian dollar has dropped by 1.3% vs. the USD, hitting a 28-day low of 0.75579 during the New York Forex session, on Thursday.
The selling pressure was also sufficient to force the AUD/USD currency pair bellow 0.76060, an important barrier which the Aussie dollar broke on the first day of February, after two failed attempts in January.
The AUD exchange rate was also impacted by the rising U.S. dollar, which has appreciated 1.48% since Tuesday.
Aussie dollar banknotes photo by Douglas Kelley