Weaker manufacturing figures from China and hints from the U.S. Federal Reserve about ending quantitative easing have helped sink the Australian dollar below 92 U.S. cents, but the Aussie dollar may continue to decline in the future, an Australian business expert said Friday.
According to University of New South Wales (UNSW) School of Business Dean Geoffrey Garrett, the better the U.S. economy does, the more expensive money will become, as markets react to the end of cheap cash.
"The fact that the market has reacted so negatively to an ending of QE tells you that there are lots of investors in the U.S. who believe that the big run-up on the Dow Jones is a function of very cheap money, not improved fundamentals in the U.S. economy.
"Any signal that the near free money's going away will have a negative impact on Wall Street," he wrote in The Conversation.
Additionally, Garrett said a slowing Australian economy may herald higher interest rates Down Under, but the Australia-U.S. interest rate differential will go down -- meaning foreign investors may move their money to the States to get better rates of return.
Thirdly, he wrote, America's shale gas industry is seeing a boom in competition with Australian suppliers, and lower gas prices mean a lower value for the Australian dollar.
Finally, China's economy is showing signs of slowing down, and the Chinese government has made no promises about another massive infrastructure spend.
With less need for steel -- which saved the Australian economy from the effects of the global financial crisis -- Australian commodity exports and economic growth could decline, putting downward pressure on the dollar, Garrett said.
A lower Australian dollar could be good or bad for Australia, he wrote, depending on whether the decline is "orderly and gradual or chaotic and rapid" -- causing global financial markets to lose confidence.
"But we don't see evidence of that at the moment... there is no reason to think we are facing anything like the dire conditions associated with the Asian financial crisis 15 years ago," Garrett said.