Australian Dollar

Australian Dollar Analysis, News and Forecasts

The Australian dollar, Aussie dollar (AUD) is one the world’s great commodity currencies. Founded in 1966 and floated in 1983 the Aussie “battler” is the 5th most traded currency in the world despite the economy being only the 12th largest by GDP.

The Australian dollar spent much of its first two decades post-float consistently devaluing from the pre-float value of $1.48 US dollars in 1974 to a low of 47 cent in 2001.

Subsequently it broke this huge downtrend with the rise of the Chinese economy and it’s insatiable demand for raw materials – especially those inputs into steel production, iron ore and coking coal – which Australian was endowed with in abundance. It topped this enormous turnaround in 2011 at $1.11 versus the US dollar.

As the super cycle entered decline so too did the Aussie, falling to a low of 68 cents in 2016 and still falling.

However, the Australian dollar  had became popular as a small reserve currency holding with foreign central banks. As the value of the currency virtually halved during the bust they kept buying. Because global central banks were fighting both low inflation and oversupply worldwide, many engaged in an overt currency war, deliberately devaluing their currencies to capture or protect global market share of production. This was exacerbated by private sector flows pursuing the “chase for yield”.

This proved a challenge to Australian macroeconomic managers as the commodity bust persisted. Without the lower value, the Australian economy was unable to compete in non-resource sectors. The Reserve Bank of Australia embarked on a series of interest rate cuts, jawboning and, eventually macropudential policy, to bring the Australian dollar to fair value.

There are five drivers to the currency. Australia’s relative position vis-a-vis Chinese and its own growth; interest rate differentials, the strength or otherwise of the US dollar; the terms of trade and sentiment. Each of these tips into any fair value model but over time the primary driver is the terms of trade. The relative strength of each waxes and wanes with wider trends. For instance, during the “tech bubble” of the late nineties the Australian dollar was battered lower by poor sentiment as it was seen as a pre-tech dinosaur. After the “tech bust”, the currency rapidly recovered as sentiment turned favourable for real assets like commodities.

MacroBusiness covers all apposite data and wider analysis of these issues daily.


Macro Morning: Greek rumours

By Chris Becker The emergency EuroGroup meeting last night on the Greek debt crisis kept most risk markets in limbo in the last 24 hours, with a possible resolution leaking out to the newswires this morning, sending some futures racing up. Coupled with no significant economic reports, the catalysts for action on the ground were thin,


Macro Morning: Greek hopes

By Chris Becker Last night, speculation regarding a possible compromise on Greek debt sent stocks up and Greek bond yields down while oil and other commodities were smacked down again. With only one day left before the emergency EuroGroup meeting tomorrow time is running out but the optimists seem to be winning here. In Europe,


Macro Morning (Grexitch)

By Chris Becker Ructions around the continued “standoff” on Greek debt crisis continues to play out on risk markets, with European bourses falling swiftly, dragging down the US and Asia today. Greek bonds continued to be sold off with 10 year yields jumping above 10% again, while German bunds slipped to 0.35% in comparison. If ever there


Macro Morning: Jobs gloom

By Chris Becker A surprisingly robust NFP print on Friday night from the US plus continued “standoff” on Greek debt did not imbibe confidence on global markets (read: did not pave way for cheap money to flood into funds), with most bourses down and only another solid day for oil providing action on the long


Macro Morning (waiting for US jobs)

By Chris Becker Another mixed night on macro markets as the argy bargy over the Greek debt crisis continued, weighing on European stocks, while the initial jobless claims preview to tonight’s non-farm payrolls came in better than expected. Another rebound in oil and a blowout in the US trade deficit has seen the USD weaken


Macro Morning (ECB reversal)

By Chris Becker A very mixed night on macro markets with news of the ECB pushing back on Greece’s modest proposal as they hold to their bailout conditions, as Euro-wide and US services PMIs come in on expectations with no surprises save some good news for European retail sales. Oil sharply reversed course on much


Macro Morning: Waiting for Mario

By Chris Becker A boost in the ZEW German/EZ economic confidence print and continued support for an ECB printing press fervour tomorrow kept European stocks well bid. Oil fell over again and US stocks were mixed as USD continued to gain strength as gold looks like uncoupling as it approaches $1300USD per ounce. It was green


Macro Morning (waiting for QE)

by Chris Becker With the United States on holiday (MLK Day) and only third tier economic releases, the only thing for markets to go on last night was speculation about what type of QE will be announced by the ECB later this week. European stocks rallied while oil and other commodities fell, with copper down 1.5%


Macro Morning (bouncy)

by Chris Becker After the SNB sheniganas Friday nights market action was one of relief across all risk markets. The German and EZ CPI results which came in on expectations but still drifting lower gave European markets a lift, while the US core CPI remained under 2% with Michigan consumer confidence bouncing strongly. The DAX


ASX at the close

by Chris Weston, IG These are strange times for global markets. When you see a 425-point reversal on the Dow Jones and a 48-handle move in the S&P 500 on limited news, you know things are not quite right. You could easily explain the confusion with a quick assessment, as oil prices are sitting at $46, CME


ASX at the close

by Stan Shamu, IG Source: Bloomberg With oil prices trading where they are and the demand/supply dynamics unlikely to change anytime soon, we are bound to get some aggressive downgrades by analysts at some point. Goldman Sachs reduced its global crude price forecasts, saying inventories will increase in the first half of this year and adding it’ll


ASX at the close

by Chris Weston, IG Having been away from markets for nearly a month, it’s always interesting to see things from a new perspective; to get one’s trading psyche in the right space so to speak. Source: Bloomberg The first thing that comes to mind is the elevated levels of volatility, with the VIX index averaging


ASX at the close

by Stan Shamu, IG Additionally, oil prices have found some stability with a rebound helping to calm investor nerves. Investors continue to speculate on European Central Bank action and comments by ECB President Mario Draghi in a letter to lawmakers suggesting ECB measures may include sovereign bond purchases fuelled this notion further. The euro came


Macro Morning (go Europe!)

by Chris Becker Risk markets, particularly in Europe exploded last night even as German factory orders tumbled, European consider confidence weakened further and the BOE held fire on interest rates and its own QE program steady. It was news out of the ECB that stimulus measures are all but certain to be announced at the


ASX at the close

by Stan Shamu, IG Equities are enjoying some relief as investors react to the prospect of further central bank easing, with the ECB in focus. Source: Bloomberg Eurozone CPI fell 0.2% in December when the market was expecting a flat reading. Earlier in the week, we had already seen a disappointing reading out of Germany


Aussie dollar just hanging on or ready to rumble?

by Chris Becker The Aussie battler broke through a significant low overnight, hitting 80.30 against the USD, taking out the monthly lows in mid-2010 (Greek Crisis Mk.1 remember?) and back to almost post-GFC bottom lows in early 2009: It wasn’t just USD of course, as the faithful predictor of safe harbor abandonment – AUDNZD –


ASX at the close

by Stan Shamu, IG Greece took a breather with some European markets closed in observance of Epiphany Day. Equities have continued to decline with investors flocking to bonds as global markets navigate an uncertain period yet again. JGBs have been a preferred destination with yields on the 10-yr dropping to a record low of 0.28%.


ASX at the close

by Stan Shamu, IG (For Chris Weston) The unwind in equities has continued with markets mostly risk-off on flaring oil and Greece concerns. Source: Bloomberg As oil prices ventur to levels not seen in over five years, the energy space is predictably the hardest hit, seeing indiscriminate selling across the board. While the initial problem was the


Bears circle as AUD cracks five year low

by Chris Becker The Aussie battler, alongside all other USD currency pairs, gapped down on the open to 80.60 before recovering and hitting 81 cents in the Asian session. But as Asia heads to the pub and Europe wakes up and smells the roses, the Aussie has cracked to a new five year low below 80.40:


Macro Morning (Santa is in town!)

by Chris Becker Santa (or Janet depending on your spelling) has arrived! A stunning bounce in risk since the FOMC meeting with stocks soaring, bonds falling and oil going fa-la-la-la down down down. First off the coal in the stocking, with Treasuries having their worst sell off in nearly two years as capital rotated out


Macro Morning (Fed bounce)

by Chris Becker Thank you Janet Yellen shouted most traders overnight as the FOMC meeting and press conference wrapped up, sending stocks bouncing and risk doubling down again. Buy the dip works! (until it doesn’t….) US stocks were the main beneficiaries, with the S&P500 up over 40 points or 2% in a beautiful upswing: I’m


Macro Morning (FOMC jitters)

by Chris Becker As I said in my “Crazy Bill Gross” post earlier this morning, the FOMC two day meeting has begun and combined with the Russian ruble crisis has seen higher volatility on risk markets across the North Atlantic. The VIX has spiked once more:     US markets at first followed the European


Aussie cracks 82 cents

by Chris Becker Last night the AUDUSD almost broke through and I thought the release of the RBA minutes this morning (with Captain Glenn calling for but doing nothing about getting the Peso to 75 cents) would do the job, but its taken some mid morning Asian trade to just crack below: The one two


RBA Minutes released: no cut in February 2015?

by Chris Becker The RBA Minutes from its last meeting are out this morning. Here are the quicknotes courtesy of ForexLive: Further fall in Australian dollar needed for economy Prudent course likely to be period of rate stability Board noted that market expected easing next year, discussed factors behind those market expectations AUD still above


Macro Morning: more fear

by Chris Becker The Monday night open in north Atlantic risk markets confirmed Friday’s nights fear as most stock markets fell, with oil continuining its freefall. The US Empire Manufacturing Index release in the middle of the session didn’t help, registering a surprising lower growth, as industrial production for November surprised on the upside. It


Macro Morning: Break

By Chris Becker Risk is wobbling as the oil crash combined with weaker than expected Chinese industrial production is shooting down confidence fairies around the globe. Friday night was not quite a bath of blood on equity markets, but key technical levels have been taken out on the S&P500 and European bourses (especially the FTSE) with


Macro Morning: Fallen king

By Chris Becker The commodity complex continues to careen out of control with oil off 4%, dragging down copper (-1.2%) and gold, but more importantly, sucking the confidence out of stocks. This was on the back of an OPEC output forecast that was cut because of the domestic US shale oil supply but the price