Australian dollar falls below 70 US cents as Wall Street fails to rebound



January 03, 2019 07:43:55

The Australian dollar has fallen sharply below 70 US cents, its lowest level in three years.

It tumbled by almost 1 per cent after the latest Chinese manufacturing figures revealed the US-China trade war is damaging its economy.

A Chinese private sector survey, its manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), showed factory activity contracted for the first time in 19 months.

The local currency was also dragged lower because of a surging US greenback — in response to weaker European Union (EU) economic figures. In particular, the euro zone’s manufacturing PMI dropped to a two-year low of 51.8.

Furthermore, sentiment was also dented after the price of Australian commodities, copper (-2.1 per cent) and aluminium (-2.7 per cent), tumbled heavily.

Analysts say these factors are pointing to a potential global economic slowdown.

The Australian dollar was buying 69.9 US cents at 7:00am (AEDT).

Volatile start for stocks

Despite that, the local share market is expected to rebound sharply after the ASX 200’s heavy losses (-1.6 per cent) yesterday.

ASX futures are pointing to an 84-point bounce-back, up about 1.5 per cent in early trade.

Meanwhile, Wall Street experienced another volatile trading session, with the main indices diving in and out of negative territory.

The Dow Jones index fell 95 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 23,233 at 3:15pm (New York time). At its worst point of the day, the Dow had tumbled 400 points.

The benchmark S&P 500 slipped 0.3 per cent to 2,501.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.1 per cent to 6,643.

However, the biggest rebound was seen in oil markets overnight, after Brent crude jumped 2 per cent to $US54.90 a barrel.

More to come.







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