The British pound is lower against the Australian dollar on Thursday as a combination of easing tensions over the trade war and better housing data all came to the aid of the Aussie. Elsewhere in the forex market, the British pound has been holding up relatively well as traders pared bets of a UK rate cut this month.
GBP/AUD was lower by 39 pips (-0.20%) to 1.8853 as of 2pm GMT, with the currency pair so far unable to recoup the 1.9 level this week as it sits in the bottom half of its 5-day price range.
The Australian dollar
The economic data out from Australia today was a little out-of-date given the potential for a downswing in economic activity because of the bushfires. Nonetheless the data was positive, offering hope that Australia’s economy can withstand any negative effects of the natural disaster.
Home loans in Australia rose by 1.8% month-over-month in November, a slight slowdown from the 2% m/m in October but much higher than the 0.4% consensus expectation. The stats on housing set up a dearth of economic data in Australia next week including unemployment, PMIs and consumer inflation expectations.
Although the reaction to the signing of the US-China trade deal has not been universally well-received, with shares in Shanghai finishing lower on Thursday – the deal does offer a ray of economic hope to Australia, where China is an important export market.
Strength in the Australian dollar today notwithstanding, the British pound is seeing some buyers return to take advantage of what was perhaps an over reaction to the possibility of a UK rate cut.
Talk of a UK interest rate cut this month is rife but potentially a little premature. Even if Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England acted swiftly on his warning about the UK economy and the central bank eased policy, it would quite possibly end there. Scope for more rate cuts after a cut in January could be limited given that the UK benchmark policy rate is only 0.75%.