In a week which was divided in to two parts by the ANZAC day holiday on Wednesday, the Aussie Dollar fell steadily and persistently against a rampant US Dollar. AUD/USD began at 0.7675 and without any reversal of note, was sold down to a low around 0.7535 on Friday morning in Europe; its weakest since mid-December. The pair then recovered almost half a cent in the Northern Hemisphere day to end the week in New York at 0.7685. The AUD/NZD cross rate rose from 1.0640 on Monday morning to a high of almost 1.0730 on Thursday before finishing at exactly 1.0700. GBP/AUD, meanwhile, rose from 1.8255 to a high of 1.8460 before plunging on Friday to 1.8175.
We reported here last week on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which showed that for the first time on record, Sydney’s population grew by more than 100,000 people in one year. Sydney’s population hit 5.1 million at June 2017, an increase of 101,600 people (2 per cent) since June 2016. But it was Melbourne that recorded the largest - and fastest growth - of Australia’s capital cities in 2016-17, increasing by 125,400 (2.7 per cent) to reach 4.9 million. Together, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane accounted for over 70 per cent of Australia’s population growth in 2016-17. A deeper dive into the numbers shows that Australia took in 525,000 international students last year, a 12 per cent increase compared to the previous year, which was itself a record. Indeed, there are around 200,000 more foreign students in Australia today than there were a few years ago. The ABS data revealed how the highest concentrations of Australia's newest migrants can be found around university campuses and the inner suburbs in Melbourne and Sydney. Only Melbourne and Parramatta centres attracted more migrants in 2016-17 than the suburb of Clayton in south-east Melbourne, site of Monash University.
The week ahead could be a really busy one in terms of local and international news. The first Tuesday of the month of course brings an RBA Board Meeting, with Governor Phil ‘slow and gradual’ Lowe speaking afterwards at a dinner in Adelaide. The year passes quickly and it’s time already for a new Quarterly Statement of Monetary Policy on Friday with updated forecasts on GDP, inflation and unemployment. Offshore, there’s an FOMC meeting on Wednesday and on Friday we have the US labour market report, with markets anxiously awaiting updates on employment and average earnings. The Aussie Dollar opens in Asia this morning having closed on Friday at USD0.7585, with AUD/NZD at 1.0700 and GBP/AUD1.8175.