Economic News

AUD/USD falls to new 18-month low

AUD/USD falls to new 18-month low

AUD/USD continues to lose ground and can’t find its footing. The Aussie started the week on the wrong foot, with a decline of 1.0% on Monday. AUD/USD is trading at 0.6266 down 0.52%. Earlier the day, the Australian dollar fell to 0.6247, its lowest level since April 2020.

Australia has posted weak numbers this week, adding to the downward pressure on the ailing Australian dollar. The Services PMI fell into contraction territory with a reading of 48.0 in September, down from 53.3 in August, as the uncertain economic outlook is weighing on business activity. Business confidence levels are down, with NAB business confidence slowing to 5 in September, down from 10 in August. Westpac Consumer Sentiment indicated that consumers are also in a sour mood, with a reading of -0.9% in September after a gain of 3.9% in August, which was the sole gain over the past 11 months.

Risk has been increasing by the increase in crisis in the Ukraine war, with Russia annexing parts of occupied Ukraine and firing missiles at civilian targets. The energy crisis is looming over Western Europe, just weeks ahead of winter. This is weighing on the risk-sensitive Australian dollar.

In the US, inflation releases have taken on added significance, as the Federal Reserve has designated soaring inflation as public enemy number one. The US releases PPI data on Wednesday and CPI a day later. Headline inflation has dropped over the past two months, but remains at 8.3%. Unless headline and core inflation both surprise with much lower readings than expected, we don’t anticipate any change in course from the Fed. If inflation underperforms, the US dollar could lose ground. On the other hand, a higher-than-expected inflation report would be bullish for the US dollar.