- AUD/USD remains flat as upbeat Aussie data fails to inspire the AUD bulls.
- Australia’s retail sales rose more than expected in February.
- Coronavirus numbers continue to rise and keep markets risk-averse.
The AUD/USD pair is lacking a clear directional bias on Friday, as the Aussie dollar is struggling to draw bids despite the above-forecast Aussie retail sales data.
Australia’s Consumer spending, as represented by retail sales, rose by 0.5% in February, data released at 00:30 GMT showed. Retail sales were forecasted to have risen by 0.4% following January’s 0.3% contraction.
The upbeat has so far failed to put a bid under the Aussie dollar, which isn’t surprising, given the economy is known to have slowed down sharply in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. February data, therefore, is of little relevance now.
Also, the risk tone remains soft in Asia with the futures tied to the S&P 500 futures currently reporting a more than 0.5% drop. The coronavirus outbreak is showing no signs of slowing down. There are now more than 1 million cases of the virus globally, with more than 238,000 in the United States, according to CNN.
The last three weeks have marked one of the most devastating periods in history for the global economy. Investors are now worried that the global economy is headed for a prolonged period of depression.
These fears have been bolstered by the horrible weekly US employment data released on Thursday. A total of 6.6 million US workers filed for their first week of unemployment benefits in the week ending March 28, according to the Department of Labor. That is a new historic high.
The Aussie dollar and other risk assets are likely to remain under pressure on Friday. On the data front, the focus will be on China’s Caixin PMI, virus headlines and the US economic calendar.