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Australian Dollar Rises on Strong Growth in Consumer Sentiment

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Australian dollar on the rise

The Australian dollar–US dollar pair was on the rise yesterday after a strong domestic sentiment number was released. The currency pair rose to a high of close to 0.708 before closing the day at 0.706. The pair rose by about 0.4% on the day. Now the focus will be on the employment numbers scheduled to come out today, which will give further direction to the currency pair.

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Westpac consumer sentiment index breaks the 100 mark

November’s Westpac consumer sentiment index rose by 3.9% to 101.7. The consumer sentiment index rose by 5.3% YoY (year-over-year). This is the index’s highest level since January 2014, apart from the brief surge following last May’s budget. This is only the third time in the last 21 months that the index has come in above the 100 mark. The boosted economic outlook was primarily attributed to confidence in new political leadership. There was further encouragement for the markets as the outlook for Christmas spending came in at a seven-year high. The increase in confidence occurred despite the rise in mortgage rates for both owner occupiers and investors.

Impact on the market

Australian ETFs were trading on a strong note yesterday, with the iShares MSCI Australia ETF (EWA) rising by 1.1% and the CurrencyShares Australian Dollar ETF (FXA) rising by 0.5%.

The Australian ADRs (American depositary receipts) trading in US markets were trading negatively, with BHP Billiton (BHP), falling by 3.2%. In the mining sector, British-Australian multinational Rio Tinto (RIO) fell by 0.88%, while Australian banking ADR Westpac Banking (WBK) showed a slight rise of 0.18%.

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