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Monday, June 10, 2013 10:32 PM

Australian Dollar Plunges as Home Loans Dive; Australia Insolvencies Hit Record; Worst is Yet to Come

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Curve Watchers Anonymous has its eye on the Australian dollar. As expected, it has taken a big dive in conjunction with a housing bust and a slowdown in China that impacts the demand for commodities.

click on chart for sharper image

The only thing surprising to me about this plunge is how long it took, but here we are.

Aussie Falls to Lowest in More Than Two Years

Bloomberg reports Aussie Falls to Lowest in More Than Two Years as Home Loans Slow

Australia’s dollar fell to the lowest in more than two years versus the greenback after home-loan approvals grew at the slowest pace in three months, boosting the case for further cuts to borrowing costs.

The Aussie slid against all but one of its 16 most-traded peers amid speculation the U.S. central bank will reduce stimulus this year, narrowing Australia’s interest-rate advantage. Standard & Poor’s lifted the U.S. credit outlook to stable from negative, supporting the view that the Federal Reserve could taper asset purchases under its program of quantitative easing. New Zealand’s kiwi dollar fell.

“Housing is the one area most likely to make up for the mining investment downturn, and it’s disappointed,” said Joseph Capurso, a Sydney-based foreign-exchange strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Australian Insolvencies Hit Record

Why anyone would think housing would make up for a downturn in mining is certainly a mystery given Australian insolvencies hit record for month of April.
A new April record has been set for Australian companies becoming insolvent. Some 941 firms were put under administration, marking the highest tally for that month since records were first made public in 1999.

Some 941 firms were put under administration, according to an FTI Consulting analysis of Australian Securities and Investments Commission records.

Almost 3450 companies have gone into administration so far this year, compared with 3524 during the same period in 2012.

But the number is higher than the opening four months of 2008 to 2011, which included the global financial crisis.

Worst Yet to Come

For Australia, the worst is yet to come. Australia escaped a big economic bust in 2008 because of high demand for housing and commodity demand from China, but both sectors are in the tank now, and will stay there.

China is slowing and will continue to slow, Australia labor costs are ridiculous, the Australian housing bubble has burst, and commercial real estate has only one way to go: down.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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