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Australian dollar floating ahead of minutes meeting.
Published on 16.03.2015 17:05

The Australian dollar is sitting tight today, ahead of Tuesday’s minutes meeting from the Reserve Bank of Australia as the market awaits direction on monetary policy and in particular, the timing of another interest rate cut.

At 1204 pm (GMT), the Aussie dollar was trading at US76.41c slightly up from US76.34c at close of trade on Friday.

In their last meeting, the RBA kept rates on hold at 2.25% catching the market off guard with analysts now predicting the central bank will slash rates again in April to help kick start the economy after the end of the mining boom which ran for 2 decades.

Stephen Miller, the Sydney-based head of Australian fixed income at BlackRock, noted that he expects the RBA to cut rates by a further 50 basis points this year bringing the cash rate to 1.75%, which will see the currency fall to around US70c before years end.

"We anticipate further rate cuts; we're seeing significant declines in the prices of Australia's commodity exports, If we put all those things together, we could well see the Aussie dollar down towards US70¢ in the second half of this year."

If the Australian dollar survives the minutes meeting tomorrow it may only be short lived as the US Federal Reserve releases its latest interest rate decision on Wednesday followed by the accompanying monetary statement.

The market is now expecting the US central bank to lift interest rates in June from a record low of 0.25% which will mark the first increase since the global financial crisis.

The Fed is expected to take a hawkish stance regarding the US economy; especially in regards to the robust employment market which may see the Australian currency come under pressure as the US economy gathers momentum.


Andrew Masters

Analyst

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