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Australian Dollar Torn Between RBA Policy Bets, Risk Appetite TrendsAustralian Dollar Torn Between RBA Policy Bets, Risk Appetite Trends

Fundamental Forecast for the Australian Dollar: Neutral

  • Aussie Dollar at Risk if RBA Rhetoric Fuels Interest Rate Cut Outlook
  • Seesawing Sentiment Trends Likely to Complicate Aussie Price Action
  • Find Key Turning Points for the Australian Dollar with DailyFX SSI

The Australian Dollar will see domestic monetary policy considerations return to the spotlight after weeks of focus on external forces as the Reserve Bank of Australia convenes for an interest rate decision. Economists expect Glenn Stevens to keep the baseline lending rate unchanged at 2 percent. The markets seem to agree, with OIS pricing reflecting a mere 35 percent probability of another 25 basis point reduction.

An outcome in line with the consensus will see traders combing the policy statement accompanying announcement for guidance on how things ought to evolve going forward. Scheduled commentary from RBA Assistant Governor Guy Debelle and economic research head John Simon two days after the sit-down will add further color to the outlook.

As it stands, the markets are pricing in at least one cut over the coming 12 months. Australian economic news-flow has increasingly deteriorated relative to consensus forecasts since the last policy meeting in early September. Survey-based 2015-17 GDP growth forecasts and priced-in medium-term inflation expectations derived from bond yields have dropped over the same period. This opens the door for a dovish shift in RBA rhetoric to weigh on the Aussie.

The return of homegrown catalysts will not be accompanied by a slowdown in external event risk. The US Federal Reserve and the ECB will both release minutes from their latest policy meetings. Traders will dutifully scour both releases to gauge the degree of concern about global growth dynamics among policymakers. A busy speaking calendar will offer further opportunities to establish officials’ bias.

Cross-market trading patterns following last week’s dismal US employment report suggest dovish rhetoric may prove supportive for risk appetite, offering support for the sentiment-linked Australian currency. On the other hand, reluctance to expand stimulus on the part of the ECB and continued argument in favor of a 2015 rate hike from the Fed will probably have the opposite effect. The pass-through from monetary policy expectations to risk trends has been inconsistent over recent weeks however and another mutation is certainly not out of the question.