News & Analysis

Australia bites the hand that feeds it, causing FX volatility!

Andrew Saks, Thursday, 6 May 2021

All eyes are on the Southern Hemisphere today, as Australia's government mulls potential travel restrictions and border curtailments until 2022, along with a potential business corridor with China.

Chinese-Australian business, especially with regard to currency trading, is a huge facet within the Australian economy, and whilst the two nations could not be more politically different, they have a huge amount in common when it comes to trade partnerships.

Australia is, after all, the gateway to the English-speaking business world in the Asia Pacific region. So much so, that back in 2014, Sydney became a trading hub for the Chinese Yuan, a strictly controlled currency which is issued via the communist government owned People's Bank of China and which is unavailable for any purpose outside China, making such a step extremely unusual indeed.

Today, the Forex trading world is focusing heavily on the performance of the Australian Dollar, as the the country's reliance on its trade deals with China become the subject of inter-government discussions.

The Australian Dollar fell 0.6% against the US Dollar today, because the Chinese government led economic planning agency (NDRC) has decided to put an end to all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialog on an indefinite basis.

Perhaps rather surprisingly, given the synergy between the two nations until now, tensions have been accruing, signified by Australian foreign minister Marise Payne having put an end to two Belt and Road related deals with China in April.

The added potential extension of border restrictions to enter and leave Australia for at least another year have contributed to the lack of confidence as this will potentially stifle international business and revenues from tourism.

New Zealand is looking to close its border to Australian entrants, therefore this restriction on the Australian side appears to be a subject of reciprocation.

China has long been Australia's largest trading partner, therefore political aggression toward Australia from the People's Republic is being viewed by analysts as a source of potential economic downturn for Australia, especially as China has already put a stop to its economic dialog with Australia, showing its cards clearly.

Guy Debelle, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia is due to speak today about the country's monetary policy during the lockdown period, which is also being looked at as a subject for potential effect on the Australian Dollar against its Northern Hemisphere major currency peers.

In addition to its curtailment, the Chinese government has been placing restrictions upon imports from Australia, effectively pricing them out of their market. This is in relation to perceived slights from Australia re ongoing Chinese human right abuses.

Therefore, being righteous and biting the hand that feeds it, whilst locking down its population and banning entry or exit for another year is likely to be a costly business and create some volatility in the Australian currency vs its majors in other parts of the free market world.


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