The Australian dollar lost more than one cent against the US dollar in a matter of minutes in trade this afternoon.
Sudden moves involving the Australian dollar we instigated by the US dollar losing ground just as quickly against the Japanese yen. The moves definitely took the market by surprise – some local currency strategists were tipping the Aussie dollar would trade between 97 and 98 US cents for the rest of today after CPI numbers were released.
Against the US dollar a strengthening yen and weakening Australian dollar is reflective of risk-off behaviour which gripped Asian markets late in trade today. Rationale for a strengthening yen comes from the view it is a safe haven currency, particularly as the US dollar loses standing with investors after weeks of political drama.
While reports suggest the bad debt of China’s banks could have sparked the currency moves, it seems like it would be more feasible that there was some form of central bank intervention.
The three day graph below shows the sudden drop of the Australian dollar, bringing it back to levels seen earlier this week.
Below is the graph of the US dollar losing ground against the Japanese yen.