Dollar tipped to stay south of 90¢ and fall further
Futures traders are betting the Australian dollar's stability around US90¢ in the past two months is about to end, with pressure firmly on the downside.
The currency last traded at US89.01¢ after sliding last week to as low as US88.93¢.
Projected price swings in the Aussie have climbed as a slump in business sentiment and weaker housing construction buoy prospects for another rate cut from the Reserve Bank this year coinciding with bets the Federal Reserve will start trimming bond purchases that have supported assets globally.
The RBA has indicated the Australian dollar remains historically high even after dropping 15.5 per cent against the US dollar this year.
"The Aussie will tend not to benefit when volatility rises," said Todd Elmer, a Singapore-based strategist at Citigroup. "Interest rates are lower, the RBA clearly wants to see a weaker Aussie and growth prospects are relatively poor.
"I highly doubt you'll see Aussie buying on that basis," said Mr Elmer, who sees the local dollar dropping towards US85¢ within the next three months.
The Australian dollar has fallen 11 per cent this year against major peers, the worst performer among 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg. It slid past US90¢ on July 12 for the first time in almost three years and touched US88.48¢ on August 5.
The currency "had declined since the previous meeting, though it remained high by historical standards", according to the minutes of the Reserve's August board meeting.
A poll of currency analysts places a range from US82¢ to $US1.02 in their estimates for the Australian dollar's year-end level, with the median projection being for US89¢.
The RBA "is probably happier to tolerate a bit of easing of monetary conditions by the currency", said Jeremy Stretch, the London-based head of currency strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. "That leaves us of the opinion that the Aussie remains relatively vulnerable."
Mr Stretch sees the currency dropping towards US85¢ in the next six months.