Australian Dollar Should Hold Up As Greenback Loses Some Shine
Fundamental Australian Dollar Forecast: Neutral
- The Australian Dollar had plentiful supportive news last week
- Inflation expectations, consumer spending and an official financial review all underlined the bull case
- It may not get much more this week, but should still hold up
The Australian Dollar is still being driven largely by interest-rate differentials between its home country and those of the US.
At face value those still help its big, US brother. After all the Federal Reserve is still widely expected to tighten monetary policy in December. Meanwhile futures markets don’t see Australian rates rising from their current, record-low point until well into 2018. That means US and Australian rates will match by year-end and the Aussie will lose its yield premium, assuming the Fed sticks to the script.
Sure enough, AUD/USD has been in retreat since topping out at 2017’s high in early September. However, last week saw a little readjustment in the Aussie’s favour. A survey of consumer confidence came in strongly, for one thing. It lacked immediate currency impact but, in the context of remarks from Reserve Bank of Australia policy board member Ian Harper this month, was still important. Harper shocked markets by saying that Australian interest rates could yet go lower if consumer vigour were to wilt. In one respect he was simply stating the obvious but markets had been sure that the next move, when it comes, would be a rate hike. They still think it will be, on balance, but nevertheless is comments hit the Aussie.
However, those consumer numbers show Australians still ready to spend. As long as they are, Harper’s contingency won’t be triggered.
The Australian Dollar got another lift last week from domestic inflation expectations, which moved higher this month. There was a bit of contrast here with the US, where Fed officials wondered whether weaker inflation might not be more entrenched than they had thought. The RBA’s Financial Stability Review was also upbeat about the economy’s prospects even if worries about consumer debt rightfully endure at the central bank.
So, the Australian Dollar sails into a new week still with the rate-differential odds against it, but perhaps at the margin slightly less so than they were. The week will offer two key data points, Australian employment numbers and Chinese Gross Domestic Product data. Both releases are due on Thursday. Both have Aussie-moving potential and, if they come in as forecast, both could life the currency.
But as far as AUD/USD is concerned, neither is very likely to change the monetary mood music between Washington and Canberra.
Therefore it’s a neutral call this week.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.