The Aussie dollar takes a tumble

The Australian dollar has fallen against its American counterpart – don't expect a rebound.

The Australian dollar, or Aussie, lost 3.5% against its US counterpart last week its worst weekly showing in over a year. Don't count on a rapid rebound.

In recent years, the economy has been propped up by Chinese demand for metals. But with China weakening, mining investment is dwindling, and it's hard to see what will replace it.

In recent years, the strong Aussie has made it costlier for Australian manufacturers to sell their goods abroad, while it has also become more expensive for foreign manufacturers to operate there.

Meanwhile, the consumer boom of the 2000s left households with high debts so most are now looking to pay down their borrowings despite low interest rates. Unemployment close to a 12-year high also militates against stronger consumption. It's still not clear "how the economy will cope with the end of its mining boom", says Capital Economics.

The upshot is that if there is any change in interest rates soon, it will be a cut. Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects the Aussie to be the weakest developed-market currency next year. Compared to the US dollar, which is benefiting from expected higher interest rates, the outlook is especially bearish.

Recommended

The currencies to bet on this year
Currencies

The currencies to bet on this year

The US dollar could be set to weaken this year, while the euro, Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc could be good bets for optimistic traders.
17 Jan 2020
The charts that matter: the dollar flexes its muscles
Global Economy

The charts that matter: the dollar flexes its muscles

As the US dollar made significant gains this week, everything else sold off. John Stepek looks at how it's affected the charts that matter most to the…
26 Sep 2020
The world's central banks will follow the Federal Reserve's example
Global Economy

The world's central banks will follow the Federal Reserve's example

The US Federal Reserve – America's central bank – has said that it would become more tolerant of inflation and hold interest rates down. Others will f…
25 Sep 2020
Oil producers are back at their Covid-19 lows – is it time to buy?
Oil

Oil producers are back at their Covid-19 lows – is it time to buy?

With demand for oil hammered by Covid-19 and talk of “peak oil demand”, there are lots of good reasons to be bearish on oil producers. So, asks John S…
22 Sep 2020

Most Popular

How the stamp duty holiday is pushing up house prices
Stamp duty

How the stamp duty holiday is pushing up house prices

Stamp duty is an awful tax and should be replaced by something better. But its temporary removal is driving up house prices, says Merryn Somerset Webb…
25 Sep 2020
Can Rishi Sunak’s winter plan save the UK economy?
UK Economy

Can Rishi Sunak’s winter plan save the UK economy?

With his Winter Economic Plan, chancellor Rishi Sunak is hoping to support the economy through the dark months ahead as restrictions tighten again. Jo…
25 Sep 2020
The electric-car bubble could get an awful lot bigger from here
Renewables

The electric-car bubble could get an awful lot bigger from here

The switch to electric cars is driving a huge investment bubble. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, says John Stepek. Fortunes will be made and l…
24 Sep 2020