Dip in Australian Dollar a Buying Opportunity says Westpac

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Foreign exchange strategists at Australian lender and investment bank Westpac see the recent dip in the value of the Australian Dollar as being temporary.

Given this view, they have recommended going 'long' on the currency in anticipation of a rebound and continuation higher.

"We have been arguing to use dips in the Australian Dollar as a buying opportunity for some time now – and we see the current dip as just such an opportunity," says Robert Rennie, a foreign exchange strategist with Westpac.

The Australian Dollar had fallen sharply against the U.S. Dollar and other major currencies through Thursday and Friday, having reached a new three-year high against the Greenback on Wednesday.

Declines coincide with falls in global equity and commodity markets as investors exited markets in the face of sharply rising bond yields - a sign that expectations for future inflation is on the rise.

The Australian Dollar-to-U.S. Dollar exchange rate peaked at 0.7957 but fell by 1.20% on Thursday and a further 1.0% on Friday to trade at 0.7788.

The weakness was felt across the strip as one of the best performing major currencies of the past month and year saw bullish investors head for the exits.

The Pound-to-Australian Dollar exchange rate rose 0.30% on Thursday but added a more chunky 0.86% gain on Friday to trade at 1.7945. The Euro-to-Australian Dollar exchange rate snapped a multi-month trend lower to go 1.30% higher on Thursday and a further 0.83% higher on Friday to trade at 1.5589 at the time of publication.

Australian Dollar reverses from recent highs

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"We have been arguing to use dips in the Australian Dollar as a buying opportunity for some time now – and we see the current dip as just such an opportunity. The sharp sell-off in global bond markets has checked optimism in global financial markets – especially growth/ tech equity markets where valuations have arguably become extremely stretched," says Rennie.

How the Australian Dollar proceeds from here depends on how global investors proceed, do they buy back into equities and commodities - a trend that would aid the Aussie Dollar - or do they further reduce positions?

The verdict amongst analysts and Federal Reserve officials is that the moves are a reaction to expectations for positive future growth rates and rising inflation and as such are not considered out of place.

"Markets now trade in a regime that discounts a very benign economic outlook – i.e. they attach full credibility to US economic policy in general and to the Federal Reserve in particular. As long as this continues to be the case, financial markets should generally remain buoyant, at least over the medium term, and any drawdowns should prove temporary," says Mikio Kumada, an economist at LGT Capital Partners.

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Westpac believe the very modest tightening in financial conditions witnessed so far will not damage the sharp recovery in global economic activity that will continue through 2021 and beyond.

"Industrial commodities including iron ore, copper, aluminium etc remain well placed for continued gains through Q2 and thus we see the Australian Dollar as well supported below 0.78," adds Rennie.

"The coming dividend conversion period can also be viewed as acting as an additional support factor for the Australian Dollar through end March and into April," he adds.

Westpac target a recovery in the Australian-U.S. Dollar rate to 0.8150 through April.

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