AUD Pressured as tensions persist


The Australian Dollar has remained under pressure, despite global stock markets having taken a turn higher as markets reappraise the US versus Iran standoff. A Caixin report saying that China will not increase its annual low-tariff import quotas for US agricultural produce raised doubts with regard to the yet-to-be-signed “phase-1” trade deal. There was also a research note from Citi analysts highlighting that upside Chinese data surprises have been diminishing since mid December. This appeared to weigh on the Aussie, which is widely seen as a liquid China proxy currency. 

AUDUSD dropped just over 0.5% in making a two-week low at 0.6898, while AUDJPY fell by a similar magnitude in making a 26-day low. The pairing and cross are showing respective losses of 1.9% and 1.6% from their closing levels on December 31. Australian OIS is pricing in a 54% probability for the RBA to cut interest rates by 25 bps at its early February policy meeting, up from the around 38% odds that were being factored in late December. Of all the Aussie crosses it is the perky Pound that is the best performer in the London session, up some 0.62% and also printing five-day highs against the Dollar, Euro and Yen today.

Elsewhere, the Yen weakened against the Dollar and some other currencies, outside the case for AUDJPY, as some of its safe haven premium unwound, though firmed back some in the latest phase. USDJPY lifted to a 108.50 rebound high, up from yesterday’s 107.77 low. The Dollar traded mostly firmer, retracing losses seen yesterday by varying degrees. The narrow trade-weighted USDIndex (DXY) rebounded about half of the drop it saw yesterday in lifting back above 96.75. This saw EURUSD ebb back under the 1.1200 level to trade down to 1.1185.

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Stuart Cowell

Head Market Analyst

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