US/China Trade War and Brexit dictate GBP/AUD (Daniel Johnson)

Progress in US/China talks

Due to Australia’s heavy reliance on China purchasing its goods and services any fall in growth from China has an impact on the Australian economy and in turn the Australian Dollar.

The US/China trade war is a huge concern amongst investors, a trade war between the world’s two largest economies has huge implications. The Trump administration wants China to change its economic strategy, something Chinese President,  Xi Jinping will be reluctant to do. The changes that are being asked for would hit the Chinese economy hard and  long term. It may be the case that the Chinese will try and give very small concessions in  bid to lengthen the trade war and out last Trumps reign. A dangerous game considering the US has threatened to increase tariffs to 25% should their terms not be met. 25% is a huge increase and if China retaliate both economies will suffer not to mention the global impact.

At present, trade talks seem to be progressing well.  When asked about how talks were going yesterday in Beijing, US Treasury Secretary , Steven Mnuchin replied “so far so good.”

If it were not for the lack of clarity surrounding Brexit I think Sterling would be making gains against the Aussie. Although, the pound could lose value as negotiations with Brussels intensify I think the likely outcomes are either an 11th hour deal or an extension, both of which could cause significant Sterling strength. Morgan Stanley recently suggested there was less than a 5% chance of a no deal scenario. The market moves on rumour as well as fact so due to a no deal Brexit being largely factored out of the equation at present, if it were to occur expect  a large drop in the pound as this outcome is definitely going against the grain.

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