Analysts have again lowered forecasts for the Australian dollar to reflect expectations of falling interest rates, as central banks across the globe ease monetary policy to support sputtering economies and ward off deflation.
A Reuters poll of 50 analysts saw the Aussie edging down to US73¢ on a 12-month horizon, compared to US74¢ in the March poll.
It hit a six-year trough of US75.34¢ last week and remains vulnerable on expectations of more easing by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The central bank cut rates in February to a record low of 2.25 per cent and markets are fully priced for a follow-up move by June.
In contrast, US markets are wagering the US Federal Reserve will start tightening sometime this year, an event that would likely set a fire under the US dollar.
The median forecast was for the Aussie to be at US76¢ in one month, $US75¢ in three and US74¢ in six. As usual, opinions varied widely with forecasts ranging from US65¢ to US84¢ on a one-year horizon. It was at US76.98¢ by 4.15pm AEST, having rallied after the Reserve Bank held off cutting rates this week, surprising some who had wagered on a move.
A separate survey of 43 analysts showed little change in forecasts for the New Zealand dollar which was seen at US74¢ in one month, US73¢ in three, US71.7¢ in six and US70¢ on a one-year time frame.
Opinions also varied widely with forecasts ranging from US60¢ to US80¢ on a six to 12-month horizon.
The currency was at US75.80¢ on Friday, having found support from a run of strong domestic economic news which likely added to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's reluctance to cut its interest rates.
That central bank has said a period of rate stability was the prudent course, though markets still have around 26 basis points of easing priced in over 12 months.