Forex - Unemployment data punishes AUD/USD

Shutterstock photo - The Australian dollar was steady ahead of important jobs data released earlier today, but that steadiness gave way to an outright plunge against the U.S. dollar a report showed a worse-than-expected employment rate down under.

In Asian trading Thursday, AUD/USD slid 0.63% to 1.0506. That took the pair below previous support at 1.0526, Tuesday's low. Resistance is seen at 1.0591, the high of January 11.

Australia's employment change showed an unexpected decline in December. In a report, Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the Australian employment change fell to negative 5,500 from 13,900 in November. Analysts had expected Australian employment change to rise by 4,500 last month.

Additionally, the country's unemployment rate ticked higher last month. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that Australian unemployment rate rose to 5.4% in December and that the November reading was revised higher to 5.3% from 5.2%. Analysts expected a December reading of 5.4%.

The news comes after the World Bank lowered its global 2013 GDP growth outlook to 2.4% from 3% and after Germany pared its 2013 economic growth outlook to 0.4% from 1%. Those reports could be giving traders pause about indulging riskier assets such as the Aussie dollar.

For all of last year, Australia added just 148,300 new jobs. That is up from 49,800 in 2011, but the two years represent the country's worst consecutive years of job growth since 1996-1997. Some analysts believe macro uncertainties in the global economy are keeping Australian employers from adding new jobs.

Potentially adding to the strain on riskier currencies is the Netherlands employment report due out later today and the U.S. weekly jobs claims number, also due to be reported later today.

The Aussie jobs reports also weighed also on NZD/USD, which slid 0.23% to 0.8393. Elsewhere, AUD/JPY plunged 0.72% to 92.78 while EUR/AUD added 0.55% to 1.2640. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

Read more News on or Follow us on Twitter at @ Newsinvesting

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.

More Related Articles

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.