After rising sharply yesterday, the Australian dollar continues to strengthen this morning (though admittedly at a slower pace). Reuters is reporting that recent strength in the currency has been driven by a wave of corporate merger & acquisition announcements. Looking at recent data, consumer sentiment was stronger than the previous print. This was fairly surprising given that indicators of consumer health (e.g. retail sales, house prices, etc.) suggest that Australian consumers remain under pressure. Despite recent strength in the Australian dollar, our short-term and medium-term trending indicators continue to suggest a bearish trend.
AUD/USD is currently up and trading just above 0.7560. Looking at EUR/AUD, the pair is flat and currently just above 1.5520. The GBP/AUD exchange rate is up and currently above 1.7660.
This is a pretty light week for economic data and events relating to the Australian dollar. Business conditions came in at 12 (vs. 21 prior) while confidence fell to 6 (vs. 8 prior). Quarter-over-quarter house prices fell by 0.2% (vs. 0.5% expected). Westpac consumer confidence was higher than the previous print (3.6% vs -1.7% prior). RBA Governor Philip Lowe's speech did not have a significant impact on the currency. On Thursday we’ll see changes in employment as well as the unemployment rate. Last week, GDP growth missed expectations on consumer weakness.