RBA on hold – AUD loses ground

Recent Australian data meant the fact that the Reserve Bank of Australia left their base rate on hold this morning, came as no surprise to the markets. In maintaining their base rate at 4.1% for the second month in a row, the RBA announced it would give them time to consider further data releases before any further moves. That pause has weakened the Australian dollar this morning. The GBP/AUD rate is up to AUD 1.9745 for the first time in a fortnight. That upward move was exacerbated by poor data from China, which is always influential for the Asian and Australasian markets. Two Chinese Purchasing Manager Indices were much worse than forecast, casting a dark shadow over demand in the Asian region. That exchange rate was also shifted higher by positive UK data but more of that below. But back with the Aussie data, we will see Australian gross domestic product figures for Q2 in the early hours of tomorrow. So the AUD could well lose more ground because the forecasts are a bit ugly.

UK economy grew more than expected

After the Office for National Statistics made solid upgrades to their 2020 and 2021 UK economic growth figures, traders started to rediscover their belief in the UK economy. The previous dramatic negative comments and forecasts have been binned in favour of the truth that Britain survived the Covid debacle in better form than anyone anticipated. That renewed confidence is reflected in this morning’s British Retail Consortium Retail Sales Monitor, which shows a 4.3% rise in activity in the year to August. The pound has gained against the euro; €1.1688 this morning and against the Australasian and New Zealand dollars but has struggled against the US and Canadian dollars.

USD continues gains

As mentioned yesterday, the US dollar is holding on to recent strength despite Friday’s mixed employment data. The GBP/USD rate has slipped to $1.2560 this morning from $1.2720 at the start of the month. This pair hasn’t really been below here since mid-June, so a break to $1.25 or lower could be the start of the correction of an upward trend that started in September 2022. If this rate does fall, we will see some GBP buying interest around $1.23 and $1.20 or below. Of the US data today, the high point will be Factory Orders Data at 3pm UK time.