THE TAKEAWAY: The Australian Dollar was volatile, but remained largely unchanged as the China Manufacturing PMI disappointed analysts expecting 50.7, with a 50.6 print.
The Australian Dollar fell last week as the release of the China HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI came in at 50.5 versus expectations of 51.5 and a previous print of 51.6. The two releases are often quite correlated, and so it was of little surprise to most that the China Manufacturing PMI came in slightly lower than previously and less than expected.
Growth in China has slowed, with GDP growing by 7.7 per cent in the first quarter; however the Australian Dollar has stayed stubbornly above parity against the U.S. Dollar as investors seek safe sources of yield. China’s growth has become less of a focus when observing the so called ‘Aussie’ as investors seem to be more concerned with the yield of the currency as Central Banks around the globe carry out stimulus efforts to encourage growth resulting in currency weakness. The sensitivity of the Australian Dollar to Chinese data has become somewhat muted as investors await direction from the RBA who despite seeing the Aussie as too strong, have been reluctant to cut rates just yet. As a result, the commodity based currency has been trading between 1.016 and 1.061 since July of 2012 supported by interest rates in Australia.
On the news, the Australian Dollar fell slightly, but returned to 1.0375 which was where it was prior to the data release.