John From Moneycorp

The Pound vs Australian dollar

570 posts in this topic

The second of the three UK purchasing managers' indices showed the construction sector to be in better shape than expected, despite tales of stickiness in the London residential property market. In Euroland first quarter growth came in at a provisional 0.5%, in line with analysts' forecasts.

 

At 53.1 the UK construction PMI was a point higher than expected. It is not a prime mover for sterling: indeed the pound ticked lower after the release of the data. However, it will have raised expectations for today's services PMI. It was a similar story with euro zone gross domestic product: the on-target figure did nothing for the euro.

 

Wednesday's loser was the Australian dollar. It was down by more than a cent and a half, undermined by softer prices for copper and iron ore and by a narrowing of Australia's trade surplus.

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Hi John,

 We have been told we need to set up a new account with Moneycorp as we will not be able to use the old account soon will there be any tax implications when we decide to cash in our money?

Only we are looking for a home and when we find one we like we will need the money from the  sale of a Uk home we lived in for over 7 years.  

 

 

 

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Hi

Probably best to ask a tax adviser on any specialist tax questions.

Let me know if you need anything in relation to the money transfer side of things

Thanks

John 

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Poor retail sales figures in Australia have weakened the Australian dollar.

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Positive UK retail sales report today from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showing a greater increase in sales than was forecast for April. As an indication of the health of the economy, the 5.6% increase was far more positive than the forecasted 0.5% rise. However, the data may be distorted somewhat by the timing of Easter and time will tell if this positive trend can continue into May.

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Following a good start to the week GBP/AUD has struggled from Wednesday onwards falling over a cent from a peak of 1.7650 to the 1.7540s on the day.

 This was due to Australian Dollar strength due to a positive market response to the Federal Budget. The budget included a popular levy on banks to fund welfare programmes and a substantial infrastructure spending package. Fears that the increased amount of government borrowing required to fund these policies could endanger Australia’s AAA credit rating appeared to be dismissed by market participants who bought the Aussie Dollar in droves following the news.

 The decline continued further following the Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report leaving the pairing down 1.7% down from Tuesday evening.

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Not great news for the pound.

UK economy slowed down more than expected in first quarter - part of the reason has been higher inflation impacting consumer spending.

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A look back at the end of last week.

Sterling lost an average of -0.4%, partly because of disappointing data for first quarter growth, partly because of opinion polls ahead of next week's general election and partly just because it is out of favour among investors. Its biggest loss was of -1.1% to the Japanese yen.

Thursday's revised figures for gross domestic product in Q1 put quarterly growth at 0.2% rather the 0.3% expansion previously announced. The change came as a surprise and therefore as a disappointment, especially as the downgrade related mainly to consumer spending.  Another concern to investors was the narrowing advantage, reported by opinion pollsters, of the Conservatives over the Labour party. It has fallen from 22 points to 5 in just two weeks.

Other figures already released show Australian building permits increasing by a monthly 4.4%.

Overall, the pound is weaker against the Australian dollar.

 

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The pound has dropped after an opinion poll suggested the Conservatives could fail to win an outright majority in the election on 8th June.

 The projection, based on YouGov research published in The Times, suggests a possible hung parliament.

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Having taken a hit during the Far East session sterling rebounded fairly strongly during the London morning. Investors decided that the YouGov opinion poll, which pointed to a hung parliament after next Thursday's election, was an outlier and that the Conservative party should still win a working majority in the Commons. There were no UK economic data to trouble the pound: personal loans and mortgage approvals were not all they might have been but consumer credit beat forecast.

The pound did, however, take a pace back during the televised election debate on Wednesday evening. The net result was losses of two fifths of a Swiss cent and a quarter of a euro cent but it was firmer on the day against just about everything else. The pound went up by half a US cent and two thirds of a Japanese yen. Its average gain was 0.3%.

The Australian dollar was one of the worst performers, as a result of lower commodity prices and weak data from China. The winner of the wooden spoon was the Aussie, which is down by two cents against the pound.

 A three-point drop for Australia's Performance of Manufacturing (purchasing managers') index did no obvious harm to the Aussie and a 1.0% monthly increase in retail sales was seen as positive. The reaction to China's second manufacturing PMI, the Caixin, was less benign. It was down by a point at 49.6, moving from the growth zone to the sub-50 contraction zone and investors were worried how that might affect demand for Australian exports.

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Conservative poll lead withers

The last UK general election, the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump's win in November provided ample evidence that opinion polls are not the most reliable indicators of voting outcomes.

Nevertheless, sterling has been rattled by recent polls, one of which gave the Conservatives just a one point lead over Labour. 

Even though all the polls indicate that the Tories will win more seats than any other party the size of their majority is being called into question and those doubts are weighing on the pound. 
 

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There were two overnight lurches for the Australian dollar. The first was downwards, after the current account deficit for the first quarter came in at $3.1bn instead of flat. The second one, upwards, was the result of the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision to leave its Cash Rate unchanged at 1.5%. They cancelled each other out.

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Pound lower/weaker following UK election result - interesting to see what happens next. 

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The pound is weak today following the political uncertainty following last week's shock UK election result.

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Not much news coming out of Australia – bit more surrounding the UK.

UK inflation

Consumer and retail price index data put UK inflation higher than the Bank of England's 2%target and they were ahead of analysts' projections. CPI was up by 2.9% on the year and RPI rose by 3.7%. The data helped the pound towards its first winning day since Thursday.

Sterling was already on its way up when the inflation figures came out and they might have given it a little more impetus. However, investors are under no illusion that the Bank of England will take any policy action, given the uncertainty that lies ahead for the UK economy.

As shown by the price action on Friday and Monday, the pound is deep inside don't-know territory. On Monday and Tuesday there was no shortage of economic pundits telling the financial media that the pound has been oversold; driven below levels that can be justified by economic fundamentals. That is not to suppose that it must therefore rebound in the immediate future: Trends like this have a tendency to overshoot.

Spending power

Whether CPI or RPI represents the best barometer of consumer prices, both indices were higher than the last measure of average earnings, which went up by 2.4% in the year to April. That means household spending power is declining. Today's wages figure will be examined closely for signs of further erosion.

The UK employment data this morning are forecast to show an extra 10k jobseekers with the rate of unemployment steady at 4.6%. Average earnings growth is also supposed to be steady, at 2.4%. A lower number would be unhelpful to sterling

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The Australian dollar has prospered as a result of strong employment data.

Seldom do the Australian employment data fail to raise eyebrows.  This time they showed unemployment falling to a four-year low at 5.5% with the addition of 42k jobs, most of them full time positions.  The Aussie was consequently the day's top performer, strengthening by 0.9% for a weekly gain of 2.4%.

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Weekly currency update is below.

The Aussie was the second best performer among the major currencies, behind the Canadian dollar.  Against sterling it strengthened by one cent and it added half a US cent.  It got two statistical legs up, the first coming when weak retail sales and slowing inflation in the States cast doubt on the upward course of US interest rates.  The second was home-grown, in the form of unexpectedly strong jobs data that showed employment increasing by 42k in May. 

 Sterling was fortunate not to extend the losses it suffered in the immediate aftermath of the general election.  UK industrial and manufacturing were disappointing, as were retail sales.  Inflation accelerated to 2.9% (CPI) and 3.7% (RPI), outpacing the 2.1% increase in wages and putting a further squeeze on household spending power.  The pound was saved by the three members of the Monetary Policy Committee who unexpectedly voted for higher interest rates.  No actual increase is imminent but there won't be any further cuts.

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Brexit press conference due at 5pm

This week is set to be another Intriguing chapter with official Brexit negotiations starting today. In the absence of a U-turn the UK position of wanting free trade and border controls without being part of the customs union is unlikely to meet a welcoming committee and as such Sterling may remain range-bound for now.

Sterling remains vulnerable to domestic political instability – with the weekend press focusing on the existential threat already to this government.

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The pound is weaker today - following comments from the governor of the Bank of England who rejected calls for an interest rate rise.

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