The Australian dollar starts the week with an interesting combination of data overnight likely to set the tone for GBP/AUD exchange rates in the days to come. Key new homes sales continued to stagnate following last month’s drastic drop of 11%, highlighting fears of slowdown in investor confidence down under.

Currency Pair% Change (Month)Difference on £200,000
GBPAUD-0.55%AUD -$2,000

The release comes at a pivotal time, with last week’s engineering construction figures showing a fall of nearly 13% of investment in domestic infrastructure (worst levels of growth since December 2016).

Much of the Australian dollar’s frailties in recent times have largely been pegged to all of the political uncertainty around the elections, but this slowdown in industrial spending and in new home builds potentially reflects a much deeper rooted drop in confidence within the economy. Certainly something that should be noted by those with long term Aussie Dollar exposure.

Chinese data in the spot light

Importantly Chinese manufacturing data also suprised the markets with a contraction in output. Given China is Australia’s leading trading partner, investors have been having a hard time getting behind the Aussie, their main fears that the ongoing stand off China is currently facing with the US might halt growth prospects. The truce agreed last week will have helped soften concerns but last night's data will have done little help this. Volatility on the AUD could follow.

Of course, last night’s releases may well filter down to Wednesday’s building permits data and could also hold weight on AUD exchange rates.

Last week’s comments from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s governor Philip Lowe will draw most of the market’s attention to Thursday’s retail sales release however. By stating another interest rate cut remains on the cards, the AUD will likely struggle to make any inroads against its currency counterparts unless we see an impressive reversal in inflation levels.

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