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Australian Dollar Gains as No Rate Cut Expected in February

February 3, 2020 at 13:47 by Vladimir Vyun

Australian coins and banknotesThe Australian dollar rose today after the outlook for the monetary policy of the Reserve Bank of Australia improved. The general market sentiment improved as well, also providing support to the Australian currency. The Aussie gained against all other most-traded currencies, though by now it has retreated from the day’s highs.

Previously, market participants were expecting that the RBA will cut its main interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.5% tomorrow. But now the consensus is that the central bank will keep monetary policy unchanged. Yet that does not mean that there will not be cuts down the line. The Westpac Banking Corporation predicted that the RBA will leave the benchmark rate unchanged tomorrow but will cut it two times later — one time in April and one more time in August.

Macroeconomic reports released in Australia today were not particularly good. The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index dropped from 48.3 in December to 45.4 in January — the lowest level since 2015. The decline below the neutral 50.0 level means that the industry was contracting at an accelerating pace. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the number of building permits fell by 0.2% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, though the decline was far smaller than 5.0% predicted by experts. The number of ANZ Australian Job Advertisements increased by 3.8% in January following a 5.7% drop in December. The RBA reported that the Index of Commodity Prices declined by 3.6% in January from a year ago. The main contributors to the decline were lower coal, LNG, and alumina prices.

AUD/USD traded at 0.6698 as of 13:51 GMT today after opening at 0.6683 and reaching the daily high of 0.6707. EUR/AUD dropped from 1.6585 to 1.6519. GBP/AUD sank from 1.9694 to 1.9487.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the Australian Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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