Australia Reports Strong Employment Figures as RBA Aims to Maintain Its Rate Hike Policy

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The September employment report for Australia, which was released earlier today, showed that the job market in the country remains strong. Reports show that 13,300 new full-time employments were created by the economy, while 12,400 part-time ones were lost. This comes after an excellent 55,000 job growth in August.

Inflation has increased as a result of the robust domestic economy, especially the labor market, prompting the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to keep raising interest rates. However, at its meeting in October, the RBA stunned the markets by raising interest rates by a smaller-than-expected 0.25%.

Reserve Bank of Australia Rate Decision to Be Dictated by Inflation

Although the RBA stated at the meeting that inflation is still way above target, the moderate rate increase is consistent with its forecast that inflation will peak in the first quarter of 2023. The September inflation report was released just a few days before the RBA’s meeting on November 1. That said, the RBA’s rate decision will likely be heavily influenced by the inflation statistics.

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Meanwhile, the Australian dollar (AUD) is experiencing notable hardship, with the AUD/USD losing 550 points since August 1 as risk sentiment has deteriorated and the US currency getting bolstered due to the Federal Reserve’s hawkish tightening policy.

The deteriorating state of China’s economy and the absence of a resolution to the situation in Ukraine have reduced demand for risky currencies like the Australian dollar. There is room for the Australian dollar to continue falling given that the US Fed is expected to maintain its hawkish policies for the rest of the year and into 2023 and that China and Ukraine are likely to remain in focus.

A minor increase in US equities futures prices typically triggers some selling in the safe-haven US dollar, which helps the risk-averse currencies like the Australian dollar. However, several factors work against the AUD/USD pair and should continue to restrain any significant recovery.

Increasing expectations of a sharp increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve continue to underpin the high yields on US Treasury bonds. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note has tapped its highest level since the 2008 financial crisis, while the rate-sensitive 2-year US government bond is close to a 15-year high.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.