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Forex - AUD/USD weekly outlook: May 12 - 16

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Shutterstock photo - - The Australian dollar eased off a three-week high struck in the previous session against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, after the Reserve Bank of Australia reiterated that interest rates will remain at record lows for the foreseeable future.

AUD/USD hit 0.9393 on Thursday, the pair's highest since April 15, before subsequently consolidating at 0.9363 by close of trade on Friday, down 0.12% for the day but 0.91% higher for the week.

The pair is likely to find support at 0.9269, the low from May 6 and resistance at 0.9393, the high from May 8.

In its statement of monetary policy published Friday, the RBA changed its growth and inflation forecasts despite a higher exchange rate, and said monetary policy will remain accommodative for an extended period.

The inflation outlook suggests there is still space capacity in the economy and "given that assessment, the board's view is that the current accommodative monetary policy setting is likely to be appropriate for some time yet," the RBA said.

The central bank upgraded the outlook for the near term, forecasting annualized growth of 3.0% in June, compared with 2.75% in the February statement.

But in the case of inflation, the RBA lowered its near-term projection to a 2.75% gain year-on-year for underlying inflation from 3.00% in the February statement.

The Aussie rallied to a three-week high on Thursday after official data showed that the number of employed people in Australia rose by 14,200 in April, beating expectations for a 6,800 increase. March's figure was revised up to a 22,000 rise from a previously estimated 18,100 gain.

The report also showed that Australia's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8% last month, compared to expectations for an uptick to 5.9%.

On Tuesday, the RBA held the cash rate at a record low 2.5% as widely expected in its latest board review.

Meanwhile, the greenback remained under pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that a high degree of monetary accommodation remains warranted given the slack in the economy.

Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that speculators decreased their bullish bets on the Australian dollar in the week ending May 6.

Net longs totaled 8,637 contracts, compared to net longs of 10,706 in the preceding week.

In the week ahead, investors will be looking to U.S. data on retail sales, consumer prices and consumer sentiment for further indications on the strength of the economy and the need for stimulus.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, May 12

Australia is to publish private sector data on business confidence.

Later Monday, the U.S. is to publish data on the federal budget balance.

Tuesday, May 13

Australia is to produce data on house price inflation and home loans, while the government is to release its annual budget report.

China is to release data on industrial production and fixed asset investment. The Asian nation is Australia's largest trade partner.

The U.S. is to produce data on retail sales, as well as reports on import prices and business inventories.

Wednesday, May 14

The U.S. is to release data on producer price inflation.

Thursday, May 15

The U.S. is to release data on initial jobless claims, consumer inflation and industrial production, as well as a report on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.

Friday, May 16

The U.S. is to round up the week with reports on building permits and housing starts, and a preliminary reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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