AUD/USD Slides on Dovish RBA Minutes, Ahead of the Fed’s Pivotal Decision

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AUD/USD Analysis

The Reserve Bank of Australia had raised rates by 25 basis points in early March, to 3.6% and the highest in over ten years [1]. This was the fifth straight hike of this size and the tenth overall, in a cycle that had started almost a year ago.

Policymakers had also pointed to "further tightening of monetary policy", but this wording marked a dovish tilt in forward guidance, since it was much softer than the "further increases" reference, of the previous statement [1].

The accounts of the last policy meeting were released earlier today, confirming the dovish shift, since they open the door to a possible halt of the rate-hiking cycle. According to the minutes, officials agreed to "reconsider the case for a pause" at the upcoming April 4 decision, to allow "additional time to reassess the outlook for the economy". [3]

The last meeting had taken place before the banking turmoil that has unfolded following the recent collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank. Authorities around the world have scrambled to safeguard the financial system and those developments strengthen the case for a more reserved approach by central banks.

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Against this highly uncertain backdrop and the confidence crisis on the banking system, all eyes now to turn to the US Federal Reserve, which hands down it policy decision on Wednesday March 22. Markets expectations have moderated from the recent heightened pricing, with CMEs FedWatch Tool assigning the highest probability to a 25 basis points rate hike at the time of writing, with a pause also in play.[4]

AUD/USD slides today after the dovish RBA minutes, with markets on edge over the banking rout ahead of the Fed which will determine the next leg of the move. This exposes it to 0.6628, although further weakness to new 2023 lows (0.6563), will need a strong catalyst.

On the other hand, the Aussie comes from a strong week and moderated expectations around the Fed's policy path work against the greenback. As such, AUD/USD may find the opportunity to extend its rebound, but does not inspire confidence for closes above the critical 0.6760-90 region.

Nikos Tzabouras

Senior Market Specialist

Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.

With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.

References

1

Retrieved 21 Mar 2023 https://www.rba.gov.au/media-releases/2023/mr-23-07.html

3

Retrieved 21 Mar 2023 https://www.rba.gov.au/monetary-policy/rba-board-minutes/2023/2023-03-07.html

4

Retrieved 29 May 2023 https://www.cmegroup.com/markets/interest-rates/cme-fedwatch-tool.html

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