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AUD/USD retreats from one-month highs ahead of US retail sales report

Australian dollar slid from highs unseen in a month against its US counterpart on Tuesday ahead of the release of US retail sales report later in the day, while the Aussie may be tempered also ahead of the employment data, due out on January 16th from Australia.

AUD/USD touched a session low at 0.9020 at 2:00 GMT, after which consolidation followed at 0.9030, falling 0.27% for the day. Support was likely to be found at January 13th low, 0.8986, while resistance was to be encountered at January 13th high, also the pairs highest point since December 11th, 0.9086.

The Census Bureau, which is a part of the Department of Commerce in the United States, will probably say that overall retail sales increased 0.1% in December on a monthly basis, after in November the indicator showed a 0.7% gain, according to the median estimate of experts. Retail sales are considered as a crucial indicator regarding the trend in consumer spending and overall economic development in the United States. The official figures are scheduled for release at 13:30 GMT today, as better than projected results would certainly provide support to US dollars demand.

In the mean time, job positions in Australia probably increased by 10 000 in December following the 21 000 gain in jobs in November, according to the median estimate of economists. However, the rate of unemployment in the country probably remained unchanged at four-year highs at 5.8% in December. The official report is due to be released on January 16th.

Additionally, China, Australias largest export market, will probably report later in the week that new loans in the country decreased to 570 billion yuan in December, after a month ago the reported loans were at the amount of 624.6 billion yuan.

“The balance of factors is still more to the downside for the Aussie than the upside,” said Stan Shamu, a Melbourne-based market strategist at IG Ltd., cited by Bloomberg News. “If we see any disappointment on the China or Australia data front then we’d expect to see the Aussie come off a little, as well as if Fed members remain quite bullish on the U.S. economy.”

On Monday Federal Reserve Bank President for Atlanta Dennis Lockhart said that weaker-than-projected payroll data in December should not discourage central banks policy makers from scaling back monthly monetary stimulus as long as the economy continues to gain momentum. Fed President for Philadelphia Charles Plosser and Fed President for Dallas Richard Fisher, voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee this year, are expected to take a statement later on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, the Aussie was lower against the euro, with EUR/AUD cross advancing 0.20% on a daily basis to trade at 1.5134 at 7:50 GMT. AUD/NZD pair was down 0.28% today to trade at 1.0782 at 7:50 GMT.

According to the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research Inc., a gauge of business confidence in New Zealand advanced to the highest level since the second quarter of 1994 during the three months through December. The gauge reached 52 in Q4, after a reading of 38 in the preceding quarter.

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