Surprise cut in Australian interest rates

In a surprise move over night the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has slashed interest rates after concerns over their own economic forecasts. Surprise cut in Australian interest ratesThe widely expected move was for a 0.25% cut, however the key rate moved from 4.25% to 3.75%.

This is the first acknowledgment by the RBA that Australia is beginning to be affected by the global slowdown, particular in China.

“This decision is based on information received over the past few months that suggests that economic conditions have been somewhat weaker than expected, while inflation has moderated” according to the RBA.

As you would expect the AUS Dollar has been heavily sold off since the announcement and currently trades at 1.5720 against Sterling, from 1.5564 before the decision.

In other news Spain followed the UK yesterday by confirming they were in a technical recession following negative growth in the first quarter of the year.

This data coupled with poor Greek retail sales falling by 13% and a 0.3% negative growth figure weighed heavily on the single European currency yesterday pushing Sterling higher.

These gains have been given back this morning following UK PMI data which has fallen to a reading of 50.5 following a reading of 51.9 in March and below expectations of 51.5.

The sharp fall is the lowest since Christmas and has been largely attributed to low demand from the eurozone which has hit manufacturing and meant UK exports fell to levels not seen since May 2009.

Consequently Sterling now sits at 1.2213 against the single European currency and Cable at 1.6205.

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