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John from Moneycorp

The Pound vs Australian dollar

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Pound looking to end the week on a high

After some difficult weeks, the pound looks to be ending the week on a high, rising against most major currencies.

Positive retail sales in the UK and snippets of good news on the Brexit front this week appear to be contributing from the pound’s perspective.

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Pound boosted today.

The Bank of England (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to maintain the interest rate at 0.5%. There were hints that rate rises would be on the cards for the future as the Bank of England upgraded forecasts for UK growth from 1.6% to 1.8% for this year. If the economy progresses as forecast, the Monetary Policy Committee highlighted that “monetary policy would need to be tightened somewhat earlier and by a somewhat greater extent over the forecast period”.


 

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The Australian dollar rate has been struggling to find its feet against its counterparts, but against the pound it has made notable progress owing to Brexit uncertainties. The Australian dollar is volatile owing to US-China trade concerns and acts as a barometer of this topic and global trade in general.

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The Pound Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate has recovered slightly after yesterday’s fall, and is now trading at AU$1.7646.

The risk-averse ‘Aussie’ was hit by comments from the US President Donald Trump on Monday, with news that he planned to raise tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese exports – an increase to 25% against the previous 10%.

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While many countries are hoping for an end to the tensions between US and China which is having such a disruptive effect on global trade, a report suggesting the US-China trade war may not impact Australia as much as initially feared was good news for the country’s currency. Ecostats showed a wider than expected trade surplus but headline inflation slowed to 1.9% in the third quarter, in line with forecasts. Aussie strengthened by 0.5% against the US dollar after the result, and some smaller gains against the greenback after Australia’s employment rate held steady at 5.0% as the number of people in work increased to 33,000 in October, higher than the expected number of 20,000. However, the numbers were not good enough to counter the rising pound and euro after a tide of positive Brexit sentiment.

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GBP to AUD forecast: The next 7 days could have a major influence on the future of GBP/AUD exchange rates as Theresa May is doing everything in her power to convince Conservative MPs to back her Brexit deal.

Over the last 6 weeks GBP/AUD exchange rates have been dropping like a stone. Currently the currency pair has fallen 13 cents and the likelihood is further falls are on the horizon up until December 11th.

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The Pound Sterling Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate slumped overnight on the RBA’s cash rate release after finding a ceiling at 1.732 in yesterday’s session, the static release of 1.5% prompted another spell to the downside.

The pair is currently at 1.72454, slightly above yesterday’s low of 1.72089 and the yearly low of 1.70980.

In line with institutional expectations, the RBA left the cash rate unchanged at 1.5%, where it has been since 2016.

Speaking with regards to the decision, RBA Governor Philip Lowe painted a picture of global economic expansion but goes on to to comment that trade tensions (read US-China trade war) have the potential to prompt a slowdown in global trade.

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Despite an early-week surge and persisting Brexit fears, the Australian Dollar (AUD) plunged on Wednesday and the Pound Sterling to Australian Dollar (GBP/AUD) exchange rate was able to recover its losses.

After opening this week at the level of 1.7447, GBP/AUD plummeted over a cent on news of a US-China trade truce. On Monday, GBP/AUD hit an 11-month-low of 1.7217.

However, GBP/AUD rebounded from its lows on Tuesday and during Wednesday’s session Australian Dollar weakness made it easier for the pair to recover all of its weekly losses and trend nearer the week’s opening levels again.

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The Australian dollar has weakened sharply after Australian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) data saw fresh concerns over the Trade Wars weigh on the AUD. This highlights just how volatile this pairing is after moving close to 6 cents in just a week.

The pound to Australian dollar exchange rate could be about to enter an extremely volatile session as we get closer to the Parliamentary vote on Brexit in the House of Commons next week. The pound has been under real pressure against a much stronger Australian dollar as the market begins to question the likelihood of Theresa May getting her deal through Parliament.

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Any idea that the Aussie had turned a corner in the sentiment stakes was put to rest this week as it moved lower on a broad front. It held its own until Tuesday but then headed decisively south. The Aussie lost almost one US cent and it fell by nearly two against sterling.

Its troubles were the result of a cocktail of confidence denting developments. Reports of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing looked ever less plausible as the White House failed to spell out what had been agreed. Turmoil in global stock markets killed investors’ appetite for “risky” currencies. When the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its Cash Rate benchmark unchanged at 1.5% its statement gave no hint of any increase in the pipeline. As for sterling, investors became less boot-faced about it after a government defeat in the Commons appeared to hand more control of Brexit decisions to Parliament. Therefore, or so the thinking went, a no-deal Brexit had become far less of a possibility.

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The Tories have triggered a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, which causes further uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The 1922 Committee chair, Sir Graham Brady has now received more than the 48 letters required from Conservative MPs for a leadership challenge. Sir Brady has stated there will be a ballot this evening.

Over 20 Conservative back benchers have publicly announced their letters of no confidence have been submitted, among those are several prominent figures of the Tory Party. Former Brexit minister Steve Baker and Chair of the European Research Group, Jacob Rees-Mogg. It seems that the cancellation of yesterday’s vote has proved unpopular amongst Tory members and was the cause of the additional letters to the 1922 committee.

This does not bode well for Sterling with GBP/AUD now in the 1.73s. May’s hopes for renegotiating the Irish Border deal were dashed yesterday when she travelled to the Hague as news emerged Angela Merkel and Jean Claude Junker both told the PM there would be no re-negotiation on the Irish back stop.

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