The AUDGBP exchange rate traded at another fresh yearly low on Friday and the pair has no high-level data this week. The Aussie dollar versus the pound will likely be driven by the latest virus outlook, against the known economic background. The UK has seen a strong economic performance but with recent fears of virus levels, while Australia is seeing its workforce locked down,
The AUD to GBP starts the week below the 0.5250 level after five straight days of losses.
Australian PM questioning lockdown strategy
Australia’s Prime Minister is finally considering the current “zero covid” strategy that is crippling the country’s economy.
Scott Morrison said it was highly unlikely that Australia would return to being free of coronavirus infections. When vaccination rates reach the targets of 70% to 80% of the eligible population, restrictions would need to be lifted, the prime minister said.
“You can’t live with lockdowns forever, and at some point, you need to make that gear change,“ he said.
The near-term outlook is still a problem with only a 52% vaccination rate for first doses. Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly was hopeful the pace could increase after 1.1 million doses were injected in four days: “We’re getting close to two million a week and it is close to what we are planning to do in the coming weeks,” he said.
New South Wales is ahead with 57% receiving one dose, while 30% are fully vaccinated.
“If our community keeps getting their vaccines the way they are, New South Wales will look pretty good by October, November,” said state Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
That statement would imply that Australia will be locked down for the rest of the year as some scientists have warned.
The Australian economy saw a slightly better unemployment rate last week but traders are looking further ahead to the current damage being done to the labor market.
More experts pour gloom on UK virus picture
Coronavirus could come ‘roaring back’ in the UK if the country takes its ‘eye off the ball’ with vaccines, an expert has warned.
Dr. Chris Smith, a virologist at Cambridge University, said a decision on booster jabs should not be ‘rash or rushed’, and that a more ‘strategic’ approach is needed. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said he is ‘confident’ a booster vaccine campaign can start next month despite reports that experts want more time to decide on the issue.
The Government reported a further 104 virus-related fatalities in the UK ‘within 28 days of testing positive’ on Saturday, and there had been a further 32,000 cases.
The pound sterling has been powering ahead of the Aussie dollar in recent weeks as both countries diverge on the virus and economic strength. There are fears of further cases as the UK enters the autumn months but there does not appear to be an imminent end to the Australian lockdowns and that is giving sterling an edge.