The British pound is higher against the Australian dollar on Monday afternoon with the Aussie losing ground after the IMF cut its global growth forecast, directly citing the Australian bushfires as one of the reasons for the downgrade. At the same time, Sterling staged a comeback from early losses brought about by comments by the UK Chancellor on Brexit, as IMF forecasts for the UK economy remained unchanged.
GBP/AUD was higher by 15 pips (+0.08%) to 1.8945 with a daily price range of 1.885 – 1.895 as of 2pm GMT, with the currency pair just beneath its highest price over the past 5-days.
In a new report issued in Davos Switzerland. the IMF have said that global growth will not rise as quickly as previously thought because of a sharper than expected slowdown in India, the protests in Hong Kong, bushfires in Australia and hurricanes in the Caribbean.
The new estimates are that global growth will rise from an estimated 2.9% in 2019 to 3.3% in 2020, down 0.1% from the 3.4% predicted previously. As a big raw material exporter, Australia is very sensitive to the global economy as well as its own. Traders will often trade the Aussie dollar as a proxy for global growth.
The downgrade from the IMF comes as a disappointment after GDP data from China on Friday had offered some hope of better economic conditions for Australia in 2020. Indeed the IMF did revise higher Chinese growth to 6.0% from 5.8% previously.
As far as downward revisions in the IMF report, the UK bucked the trend with its growth forecast unchanged at 1.4%, now expected to be higher than the EU at 1.3% y/y.
The pound had come in for some early selling after a weekend interview with Chancellor Sajid Javid cast doubt on the support businesses would get from the government when the UK leaves the EU and ends the transition period. Mr Javid had told the Financial Times newspaper that there will be some winners and some losers after Brexit, an uncomfortable reality that the ministers rarely choose to emphasise.