The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held interest rates last night as widely expected at 1.5%. The general feeling is that rates will not change until 2018 at the earliest but is important to highlight that there is a growing concern over the strength of the Australian dollar. A strong dollar is bad for Australia’s exports and the RBA has been known to jawbone the currency by making statements surrounding monetary policy that have the effect of moving the currency without the central bank actually having to take specific action. Looking forward we are likely to see such arm twisting from the RBA and the Australian dollar could see some weakness in the coming months.
GBP AUD exchange rates could also see a sizeable boost if Britain and the EU can get to a point of “sufficient progress” with the EU. As things stand the pound remains in a very weak position with all the uncertainty that surrounds Brexit. Any signs that there will be a future trading agreement should see the pound make considerable gains although we are not at this stage yet.
This week Jean Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier have both highlighted that more needs to be done. Expect more mileage from Brexit and there could be some good opportunities in the coming weeks for buyers and sellers alike. Clients looking to sell Australian dollars could see a small window of opportunity if tensions rise.
Australian retail sales numbers and trade balance data are released on Thursday and could create some volatility for the Aussie dollar. Data on Thursday focussing on the construction sector will also be keenly viewed as it may give some clues as to where the sector is heading. There have been ongoing concerns over Australia’s buoyant property market and it is expected to only be a matter of time before a wobble is seen at the top.
It is traditionally the construction and housing markets which are the first to fall ahead of a downturn. Whilst we may not be there yet any signs of a slowdown starting to happen down under could see the dollar weaken.
If you would like further information on sterling or Australian dollar exchange rates or any of the major currencies and to discuss how we can assist then please feel free to contact me on 0044 1494 787 478 and ask one of the team for James. Alternatively, I can be emailed directly on [email protected]