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.

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Stocks came back on both sides of the Atlantic overnight despite a fall in USD, positive sentiment building due to the Hong Kong situation changing for the better, while Boris had another failure in his Brexit plans. Bond markets were relatively stable while gold continued to leap to new highs, with commodity

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Macro Afternoon

Outside of Hong Kong, it was a staid session across Asian stock markets today as risk tread water in reaction to the poor lead from Wall Street and the deepening Brexit drama overnight. Locally, the latest GDP print has added to the poor macroeconomic picture, with traders betting that the RBA will do 2/5ths of

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  US markets reopened overnight, and were flummoxed by a weak ISM manufacturing print that retracted for the first time in three years, sending risk sentiment in negative territory. Stocks and the USD fell while Treasuries rallied sending the 10 year yield down to a three year low, hovering just above 1.43% as

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Macro Afternoon

A steady as you go session across Asian risk markets today as traders await the return of the US from its long weekend. Locally, all eyes were on the RBA which failed to act, keeping interest rates steady and arresting the terminal dive in the Pacific Peso, while the Chinese Yuan was again fixed lower

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  With US markets closed overnight, the rest of the risk complex didn’t have much of a lead to go on, with European markets putting in scratch sessions although the FTSE jumped again as the bottom fell out of Pound Sterling as Boris Johnson threatened a general election in the wake of Brexit.

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Macro Afternoon

A mixed start to the trading week here in Asia with Chinese stocks on the rise while Japanese and local stocks fall due to the lack of confidence transmitted by Wall Street on Friday night, not helped by the Labor Day weekend. Chinese private PMI figures helped boost the official ones while the next set

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$600bn fundie: Australian dollar to 60 cents this year

As noted earlier today, CFTC positioning on the Australian dollar remains very short: This helps explain why, via The Australian: One of the world’s biggest fund managers has lowered its global growth outlook, pencilling in a slump in the Australian dollar before the year’s end amid a “50-50” chance of global recession. Aviva Investors chief

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Friday night saw a continuation of some positive sentiment across risk markets, although the long weekend in the US meant positions on Wall Street were tapered back, not helped by the latest consumer sentiment figures which are receding. The ECB contineus to send out mixed messages, with some calling for more easing

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Australian dollar runs into impossible gale

DXY broke out Friday night as EUR crashed and CNY fell: Normally that combination would smash the Australian dollar but instead it rallied against all DMs: And most EMs: Playing catch-up for last week’s weakness I guess. CFTC positioning remains very short: Gold was hit as DXY powers up: But oil fell: And metals beyond

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Macro Afternoon

The bounce is on as Asian equities play catchup with stock markets much higher to end the week, while the USD flexes its muscles against the majors, sending gold and safe havens like Yen down, as the Aussie dollar is about to make a new monthly low. Chinese stocks are moving slightly higher with the

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Australian dollar thumped as economy falls apart

Some fantastically irrational market action today. The Australian dollar was thumped to within a whisker of the 0.66s as building approvals free fall: But bonds weren’t bid: Yet stocks assumed that they were, grabbing anything with yield: Dalian is firmer: Big Iron is partying. It’s not clear whether it is China going ex-growth, the trade

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Is the Australian dollar carry trade back?

Via Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: As bonds have rallied furiously in recent weeks, an interesting development to note is that Australian real yields have remained flat, while US real yields have fallen sharply to negative from positive. As a result, the Australian-US real 10-year bond yield differential has closed to -0.1% from -0.4% in

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Its all swings and roundabouts with the Chinese overnight indicating they won’t retailiate against Trump’s latest tariffs (and they’ll overlook his lying about phone calls too!), which sent risk markets sharply higher, dragging the USD along as well. Treasury yields dropped, with the 10 year losing 10 points as money went back

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Macro Afternoon

Another relatively mild session across risk markets here in Asia today until late in the session with traders eyeing the latest musing from China on the trade war with the US.   Chinese stocks were the worst off with the Shanghai Composite down a handful of points again, remaining below 2900 points while the Hang Seng

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Its all about Brexit – no trouble – overnight with risk markets tentatively moving forward, only Pound Sterling suffering any stress due to Boris’ suspension of Parliament. The USD rose slightly while Treasury yields were relatively stable through a large auction, with the latest DOE oil inventory figures giving oil prices a

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Risk rebounds, Australian dollar sinks

DXY was up last night as EUR sank. CNY found some support: The Australian dollar did not lift at all: EMs were also weak: Gold was strong: Oil too on a big US inventory draw: Metals were mixed: Big miners bounced: EM stocks didn’t: US junk is good, EM not so much: Treasuries were bid:

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Macro Afternoon

A relatively staid session across risk markets here in Asia today following a small blip higher on Wall Street overnight. Only Chinese stocks are in the red with the Shanghai Composite down a handufl of points to be back below 2900 points while the Hang Seng Index has continued its mild retreat, down 10 points

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Risk markets remained unconvinced of any real development in the US/China trade war as Trump gets called out on his bald-faced lies following the G7 meeting. US stocks retreated slightly while the USD is little changed against the majors, as Treasuries firmed across the curve. The latest German GDP was left unrevised

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Macro Afternoon

A bit of hope and optimism is sneaking into Asian share markets today following the reversal on Wall Street overnight, although continued protests in Hong Kong are weighing locally. Safe havens are still getting a bid, with gold and Yen both rising while Treasury yields are falling. Chinese stocks have split with the Shanghai Composite taking

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  The dead cat bounce had some kittens overnight with the US and China looking to return to the negotiating table before the trade war re-ignites again. Stocks recovered mildly on Wall Street while the USD came back from its slump, as Treasury yields nudged higher again. In economic news, the slump in German

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Why the US dollar is strong

Via Zoltan Pozsar at Credit Suisse: The FOMC should forget about r* for the moment and focus on Sagittarius-A* – the supermassive black hole at the center of global dollar funding markets. The black hole is the foreign RRP facility, which has seen close to $100 billion of inflows since the beginning of the year.