Australian dollar up

The Australian dollar has risen Thursday and is buying 68.85 US cents from 68.76 US cents on Wednesday.

Yesterday, the local currency steadied and bond yields hit historic lows as investors wager many more central banks elsewhere would soon join the global easing train.

Adding to the relief on Wednesday was news US President Donald Trump would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit later this month and trade talks would restart.

The Aussie got a leg up to 68.76 US cents after striking a near six-month trough of 68.32 overnight.

The last time it spent any real time at these depths was in January 2016.

Much will now depend on how dovish the US Federal Reserve sounds after its policy meeting later in the global day, with investors betting heavily it will signal the possibility of a rate cut as early as July.

“Given recent dovish comments from Fed officials, we expect a shift to an easing bias,” said ANZ senior economist Tom Kenny.

“Chair (Jerome) Powell is likely to reiterate that the FOMC stands ready to support the expansion.”

“We now expect it to start cutting rates later this year, and the risk to our view is that the Fed moves earlier than we anticipate.”

Pressure for an early shift grew after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reversed course and declared additional stimulus would be required in the region if inflation failed to pick up.

The dovish lurch proved a reprieve for the Aussie as it ended a run of daily gains for the euro, which fell back 0.6 per cent to $1.6277.

The Aussie has been hard pressed by expectations of lower rates at home as the Reserve Bank of Australia flagged further easing after a cut early this month.

Futures imply a 50-50 chance of a cut to 1% in July, while a move in August is considered a near certainty.

Yet Draghi’s comments reminded investors that the RBA was hardly alone in opening the policy spigots and that German 10-year yields were in a different world at -0.32 per cent.

Australia’s 10-year paper still offers a positive 1.35 per cent, even if that is the lowest on record.

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