Australian Dollar (AUD)
The Australian dollar has remained strong against the USD for three weeks in a row. Looking ahead, the release of China’s manufacturing PMI figures for February could influence the AUD, especially if they indicate continued problems in Chinese factories. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) considered the possibility of a 25 basis point rate hike in its February meeting minutes, suggesting potential future support for the AUD. If there is an increase in the wage prices index for Q4 and upcoming CPI rates for January, due out on Wednesday, then inflationary pressures could rise. This in turn may encourage a more hawkish stance from the RBA and further support the AUD. Similarly, a potential acceleration in retail sales growth for January, due out on Thursday, may indicate strong consumption, and add to inflationary pressures, further supporting the AUD.