The Aussie rises…
The Australian dollar is stronger overnight following an upbeat assessment from the RBA Monetary Policy Statement. The Reserve Bank of Australia is loosely looking to raise interest rates in the future which would help the AUD to rise. It has risen overnight following the commentary that saw them raise their Inflation and Growth forecasts.
Another factor to drive the Australian dollar is the outlook on the Trade Wars which have seen the Australian dollar rising according to the viewpoint on how it will influence the Chinese economy. Recent rising expectations that the Trade Wars would gently resolve themselves have cooled but the initial fears that saw the Aussie massively sold off, have subsided.
Global Issues remain
I expect the Trade Wars will continue to provide concern, it seems more likely than not that Donald Trump will trigger some kind of concern on global financial markets which would weaken the Australian dollar. If not owing to economic concerns abroad, it might be political concerns domestically in the US which drive the Aussie.
The recent mid-term elections saw the US dollar lose ground against most currencies with the Australian dollar a beneficiary of the uncertainty. The Aussie did rise on this news, as investors sought to diversify their currency exposure away from the US and possible political issues ahead.
As you can see, there are numerous global factors which drive the Australian. Trying to accurately predict what the rates will be will involve accurately predicting not only what Donald Trump might do, but also how the market might react to it. Some might suggest Donald Trump does not know exactly what he will do next, trying to predict him will be no easy feat!
What lies ahead for GBPAUD rates?
GBPAUD levels have fallen below 1.80 on the news, could the RBA be preparing to raise interest rates? Westpac do not think so, with them believing the RBA will hold through 2019 and 2020. There is even a view that the RBA may cut rates, by some who feel Australia’s booming housing market and highly indebted consumers cannot stand a hike.
Whilst the pound has been notably buoyant across most currencies, rising to some of the best rates all year or certainly multi-week or month highs, the pound to Australian dollar rate has not performed so well. Whilst we are tracking improved levels, we are still down owing to the Australian dollar also performing well.
GBPAUD exchange rates hit a peak of 1.8713 in October of this year, significantly above the 1.5909 lows of Brexit in October 2016 following the EU Referendum. Current rates of 1.79-1.80 are therefore below the peak but above the average.
Mix into this the uncertainty on Brexit (who can accurately predict the outcome there either?) and we have a plethora of events to move GBPAUD rates. My general expectation is that the pound will rise further against a weaker AUD if the global concerns continue on Trade Wars. I think the threat of a ‘new world order’ of more protectionism will see the Australian dollar weaker in the future, particularly as that uncertainty will keep the RBA on hold or possibly looking to cut.
Will you need to make a transfer?
For clients with a position selling Australian dollars for pounds, I feel gearing up to capitalise on the recent spike is sensible. Clients buying AUD with sterling might wish to take a slightly more speculative view but in hoping for further improvements, they could easily get caught out relying on a smooth Brexit process.
If you have a position to buy or sell AUD for sterling I would be most interested to share some of the latest news and events driving this pair. There is no easy answer to the question of ‘when is the best time buy or sell Australian dollars?’, but by careful analysis and utilising our experience in tracking trends, we do strive to offer an informed opinion to help you make the most of your currency needs.
Thank you for reading and please contact me to discuss further.