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Come On, Give the Aussie Dollar a Break: Pros

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 | 2:28 AM ET
Carolyn Hebbard | Flickr | Getty Images

Australia's dollar has received its fair share of whacking lately and perhaps it's time to give the currency a bit of a break, currency strategists say.

The Aussie dollar has shed almost 5 percent in the past two weeks against the U.S. dollar, hurt by signs of weakness in the Australian and Chinese economies, broad strength in the greenback and a continued fall in commodity prices. It is down roughly 8 percent from where it traded in early April.

(Read More: Dollar Rising With Equities Is Bullish Sign for Stocks)

"It [the Australian dollar] has been beaten up pretty badly and a lot of bad news has been priced into the currency in terms of [softer] domestic growth and Chinese growth as well as expectations of lower interest rates and commodity prices," said Mitul Kotecha, head of global currency strategy at Credit Agricole.

Australia's central bank cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point last month, helping to dent the appeal of the currency.

"We may see a bit more weakness against a resurgent U.S. dollar but I like the Aussie on the crosses. It's good value against the Kiwi [New Zealand] dollar, the Canadian dollar so I'm no way as bearish on the Aussie as some," he added.

The Aussie dollar was trading at about $0.98 on Tuesday, off an 11-month low hit on Friday around $0.9710 but holding below parity.

Is It Time to Buy the Aussie Dollar?
Mitul Kotecha, Head of Global FX Strategy at Credit Agricole says there's more downside ahead for the AUD but thinks it's good value against the New Zealand dollar and Canadian dollar.

The sharp fall in the Australian dollar has turned investors and strategists bearish on the once-resilient currency, with analysts at Goldman Sachs expecting it to fall as low as $0.80.

(Read More: Goldman Warns of Big Move in Australian Dollar)

"Markets have gone from loving the Aussie a month ago to hating the Aussie I think it's been too rapid a swing," Robert Rennie, global head of foreign exchange strategy at Westpac in Sydney told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box." I like the upside for the Aussie to $0.9950 to parity, I also like to sell it on parity though."

According to Ed Ponsi, managing director at Barchetta Capital Management, heavy selling in the Aussie dollar has put the currency deeply in over-sold territory.

"This is only the third time in the past 18 months that we've been in an extended period where the RSI, the relative strength index, is deeply oversold for the Aussie," he said referring to a technical indicator.

"The previous two times that this happened, we saw very sharp rallies, so I don't think we see something up to $0.9950 and bit of relief," he added.

By CNBC.Com's Dhara Ranasinghe; follow her on Twitter @DharaCNBC