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The threat of proxy war between the US and Iran in Iraq has pared back some of the gains the Aussie had made coming into the New Year.
The Australian dollar had started the new decade strongly climbing to multi-month highs helped along by cooling trade tensions between the United States and China and optimism for global economic growth in the year ahead.
The Aussie broke back over US70 cents on the final day of 2019 — a level not seen since mid year. During December the Australian dollar reversed direction (again) and climbed steadily back up against the US dollar on the back of the strength of the housing market and a market perception that further interest rate cuts were less likely. In November it had been all downhill traffic for the Aussie dropping back from highs close to 70c at the beginning of the month to around 67c against the USD by month end.
At the end of October the AUD had surged to a three month high against the US dollar following the third rate cut in a year by the US Federal Reserve. The gains were mainly due to the fall in the US dollar after the market sensed that US rates are more likely to rise now than fall further.
The RBA also added to the positive sentiment with an optimistic assessment of easing risks from the US-China trade war and Brexit. Accordingly markets are pulling back from bets that the cash rate will drop to 0.5 per cent and the possible start of quantitative easing.
Interestingly, AUD has decoupled from commodity prices in 2019. The price of iron ore (Australia’s largest export) nears multi-year highs while AUD languishes.
Further RBA interest rate cuts this year are now a certainty, and that doesn’t bode well for currency valuations.
For AUD forecasts and predictions read our Australian Dollar Forecasts report.
The threat of a proxy war between the US and Iran in Iraq has pared back some of the recent gains of “risk-on” currencies.
Key Takeaways from the ACCC inquiry into currency conversion services. BestExchangeRates referenced among comparison sites playing an important role in customer awareness of the excessive currency margins charged by banks.
Both the Australian dollar and British pound sterling have had a hard time of late caught between the rock of the China/US trade war and the Brexit hard place.