The Australian dollar is getting hammered as US bond yields scale fresh highs

Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images
  • The AUD/USD has fallen over 1.4% since Wednesday.
  • Higher US bond yields has been a major factor, weighing on investor risk appetite.
  • Markets will receive data today that may could answer whether the global growth slowdown seen in recent months continued into April.

The Australian dollar continues to slide, undermined by another steep lift in US bond yields on Friday.

The AUD/USD hourly chart below tells the recent story.

AUD/USD Hourly Chart

Combined with a sizeable decline on Thursday, the AUD/USD has fallen over 1.4% since Wednesday’s close, leaving it back near the lows it tested on several occasions earlier in the month.

Rodrigo Catril, Senior FX Strategist at the National Australia Bank (NAB), said that much like Thursday, the Aussie was pressured by another steep lift in US bond yields, a move partially driven by speculation that US inflationary pressures may be about to accelerate.

“The 10-year tenor closed at 2.96%, its highest levels since early January 2014 and the 2s-10s curve closed above 50bps for the first time in two weeks,” he says.

The steepening in the US curve, driven by higher longer-dated bond yields, weighed on risk assets during the session, including the high-yielding, commodity-linked Aussie.

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“The bear steepening in the US treasury curve in the last two days of the week has been one of the key factors helping the USD outperform,” says Catril.

“After flirting with a break above the 0.7825 resistance level on Thursday, the AUD/USD ended the week at 0.7672, close to the lower end of its 0.7643-0.7813 range held since mid-March.”

Turning to the session ahead, most attention will fall on release of flash manufacturing and services PMI reports for April from Japan, Europe and the United States.

“One of the big macro questions in recent weeks has been whether the global economic slowdown in Q1 was just a weather induced blip, compounded by China‚Äôs Lunar new year, or whether the slowdown is actually more deeply rooted with US led trade tensions a contributing factor,” Catril says.

“The data will ultimately solve this riddle.”

Japan will release its flash manufacturing report at 10.30am AEST. While not normally a market-mover, it’s likely to attract more attention than usual today.

Outside of those events, the data calendar is fairly quiet to start the week.

Here’s the scoreboard as at 7.50am AEST.

AUD/USD 0.7671 , -0.0001 , -0.01%
AUD/JPY 82.67 , 0.16 , 0.19%
AUD/CNH 4.8175 , 0.0054 , 0.11%
AUD/EUR 0.6244 , 0.0006 , 0.10%
AUD/GBP 0.5477 , 0.0007 , 0.13%
AUD/NZD 1.0626 , 0.0008 , 0.08%
AUD/CAD 0.9788 , 0.0005 , 0.05%

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