Market Insight – Foreign Exchange Risks shift to the downside for the Aussie
RBA cuts rates
On the 3rd May the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) took the decision to cut interest rates in response to recent signs of weak inflationary pressure. While the move itself was not a complete surprise (55% probability priced in prior to RBA meeting), the quarterly monetary policy statement that accompanied the meeting revealed that the bank’s central view towards inflation had taken a marked shift. The bank had slashed inflation forecasts by 50-100bps to reflect a new base scenario, whereby underlying inflation would sit at the bottom of the target 2-3% range for the entirety of the forecast period (to Jun-18, see Figure 1). Since the meeting, the AUD has fallen 3.3%* on a trade weighted basis but market pricing of further cuts have not really moved (only one further cut priced in this year). Going forward, the AUD has potential to come under further pressure, especially if Australian inflationary measures remain subdued and prompt the RBA to pursue a more aggressive easing path.
(Click to enlarge)
Weak wages underpin inflation outlook
The latest monetary policy statement highlights that “the outlook for domestic cost pressures is a key source of uncertainty” for the RBA’s own inflation predictions. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that recent wage growth and headline inflation numbers have been particularly lacklustre, falling despite above trend growth and declining unemployment (see Figure 2). Furthermore, inflation expectations have fallen sharply since the turn of the year, raising concerns that low expectations will become embedded in wage levels. These risks will place additional emphasis on ABS wage and inflation data due on the 18th May and 26th July respectively. Should they disappoint, the AUD will likely fall against its developed market counterparts as expectations of further easing rise.
(Click to enlarge)
Speculative longs fall from highs
Speculative long AUD positions fell for the first in time in almost two months last week as the RBA’s dovish monetary policy statement and the recent fall in bulk commodity prices has led investors to reassess the recent upward trend. In coming months, positioning is likely to fall from current elevated levels and could place the AUD under pressure.
This communication has been issued and approved for the purpose of section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 by ETF Securities (UK) Limited (“ETFS UK”) which is authorised and regulated by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”).
The information contained in this communication is for your general information only and is neither an offer for sale nor a solicitation of an offer to buy securities. This communication should not be used as the basis for any investment decision. Historical performance is not an indication of future performance and any investments may go down in value.
This document is not, and under no circumstances is to be construed as, an advertisement or any other step in furtherance of a public offering of shares or securities in the United States or any province or territory thereof. Neither this document nor any copy hereof should be taken, transmitted or distributed (directly or indirectly) into the United States.
This communication may contain independent market commentary prepared by ETFS UK based on publicly available information. Although ETFS UK endeavours to ensure the accuracy of the content in this communication, ETFS UK does not warrant or guarantee its accuracy or correctness. Any third party data providers used to source the information in this communication make no warranties or representation of any kind relating to such data. Where ETFS UK has expressed its own opinions related to product or market activity, these views may change. Neither ETFS UK, nor any affiliate, nor any of their respective officers, directors, partners, or employees accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this publication or its contents.
ETFS UK is required by the FCA to clarify that it is not acting for you in any way in relation to the investment or investment activity to which this communication relates. In particular, ETFS UK will not provide any investment services to you and or advise you on the merits of, or make any recommendation to you in relation to, the terms of any transaction. No representative of ETFS UK is authorised to behave in any way which would lead you to believe otherwise. ETFS UK is not, therefore, responsible for providing you with the protections afforded to its clients and you should seek your own independent legal, investment and tax or other advice as you see fit.