Australian dollar remains vulnerable; AUD lower as capacity utilisation and business conditions numbers disappoint

The pound / Australian dollar exchange rate is 0.3 pct higher at 1.5227. "Other currencies are making decent gains against an increasingly vulnerable AUD but the best sterling can do is edge higher, which is a marker of its own weak performance," comments Richard Driver of Caxton FX.

The euro / Australian dollar exchange rate is 0.42 pct higher at 1.3129.

The Australian dollar / US dollar exchange rate is 0.11 pct down at 1.0244.

Please be aware: These are spot market quotes to which your bank will add their own discretionary spread; this is the skewed exchange rate that we are all so familiar with. It must be noted that independent forex providers are however able to undercut your bank's offer, thus delivering you more currency at an exchange rate that is closer to the actual market rate. Please see more here.

Australian business conditions prove unhelpful to AUD

NAB business conditions rose slightly in January, but remained below their long-term average.


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"The improvement in conditions was driven by a pick-up in the trading and profitability components. This was partially offset, however, by a sharp fall in the employment component, which is signalling a further deterioration in labour market conditions in the coming months," says a comment on the matter from ANZ Bank.

Australian economy has more to give

Also pressuring the Australian dollar bulls was news that capacity utilisation – a useful proxy for the output gap – declined to its lowest level since July 2001, and below lows recorded during the global financial crisis.

Most of the decline, however, appears a little ‘rogue’ given that it was concentrated in just one industry - recreation and personal services.

"While some bounce back might be expected next month, capacity utilisation remains low and suggests that plenty of spare capacity remains in the economy," say ANZ Bank.

New Zealand dollar advances vs GBP

Another rough session for sterling saw GBP/NZD pair head lower once again.

"The kiwi dollar weathered news of North Korean nuclear testing pretty well, developments like this can often spook investors and weigh on demand for riskier currencies like the NZD," says Driver, "this pair is trading at 1.87 and further losses cannot be discounted after that failed attempt at 1.90."

British pound exchange rates at Currency Watch

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