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: Australian dollar weakens

It is a potentially huge day for markets today as we have the monthly release of the big manufacturing PMI numbers. Kicking off this morning is the HSBC manufacturing PMI and then tonight we get the Markit PMI’s for France, Germany, the Eurozone and the US. These data are very important for a number of reasons


Australian dollar cone of silence cracks

The cone of silence lowered by the RBA, Government and Opposition – none of which seems able to contemplate solutions – has taken a couple of blows today. The AFR headlines with a story from several sources: The dollar strengthened on Wednesday to $US1.05 and ¥104.7, a five-year high against the yen which is being


John Edwards doppleganger cheers high dollar

Jeez, two months is a LONG time in Australian public life. From RBA board member, John Edwards today: “I would prefer a lower currency and it does pose some problems for us,” John Edwards said in an interview yesterday. “But I don’t think they’re at all, at this point, the kinds of issues that require


Japan’s currency war has just begun

Global macro UBS analyst, Syed Mansoor Mohi-uddin, has a very neat little note out this morning summarising the revolution that has just taken hold of Japanese monetary policy: The first meeting of the Bank of Japan under Governor Kuroda has surpassed expectations. The central bank has effectively agreed to double its pace of JGB purchases to


Central banks aim to seize Australian production

The FT has story that should send a shiver down the spine: Central bankers are putting cash into riskier assets and exotic currencies to compensate for ultra-low returns on US Treasuries, according to a poll of officials responsible for almost $7tn in reserves. The world’s central bankers together manage reserves worth $10.9tn, most of which is


Macro morning: BoJ smashes yen

No mucking around at the Bank of Japan yesterday with the vote to double the size of the balance sheet and try to hit 2% inflation by March 2015. The fact that the vote was unanimous behind the new BoJ Governor Kuroda is also instructive that after 2 decades of moribund growth the Japanese are growing


A new Australian dollar/yuan nirvana?

Cross-posted from The Conversation. James Laurenceson is currently a Senior Lecturer in Economics at The University of Queensland. He has previously also held appointments at Shimonoseki City. ———————————————————————————————— Julia Gillard leaves Australia for China tomorrow, her second trip to the Middle Kingdom as Prime Minister. As befits China’s status as Australia’s most important trading partner, the


Positioned for Japanese printing

The wait is over and JPY traders globally will be tweaking positions as we head into the afternoon and the long-awaited BoJ meeting. Local news sources (the Nikkei) have suggested the bank will increase its Asset Purchase programme (APP) by ‘only’ ¥1.2 trillion a month, which is far short of the ¥2.0 trillion a month


Macro Morning: Dud data

The markets were less focused on Cyprus and more focused on some weaker than expected data out of the US overnight with stocks a little lower and the US dollar a little weaker. Interestingly, the Tankan survey in Japan yesterday didn’t stop the yen from strengthening in what looks like both a technical move and


Macro morning: Europe sours

The euro and the Aussie came under some pressure overnight as the former continues to be buffeted not just by Cyprus but also the Italian political impasse and weak European data while the latter continues to do well on the crosses but just couldn’t hold the up trend under the weight of negativity thatis just enough to


Macro Morning: Dijsselbomb

I had grave concerns about the Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem and his ability to lead the Euro Group and command the gravitas and experience necessary for that position. Overnight we saw that he is still wearing his L-Plates as he torpedoed the markets rally after the Cyrpus deal was announced. In an interview with Reuters and the


Macro Morning: Australian dollar roars

So the emotional roller coaster continues and the markets were worried about Cyprus again overnight. That is now four trading days where we have been worried, not worried, on and off. This suggests that Cyprus might be a convenient ex poste excuse rather than an ex ante cause but hey who am I to argue


Macro Morning: No volatility

The VIX volatility index hit its lowest level since 2007 overnight as the Dow printed another new all-time high and the troubles with Italy and the problematic Chinese data over the weekend were ignored. As you can see in the chart at right, which is the VIX over the past 12 months, the markets estimate of volatility


Macro Morning: King dollar returns

The US dollar is doing something very strange at the moment. Well, not that strange, after all it’s really just something that we haven’t seen for a while. That is, the US dollar seems to be re-establishing a positive correlation with moves in the stock market and is rallying along with the Dow and the