Aussie dollar almost equal to Singdollar

Given the Greek debt crisis and the steep corrections on Chinese stock markets, the Aussie dollar (above) may even fall to 99 cents against the Singdollar soon, says Mr Saktiandi Supaat, head of forex research at Maybank Singapore.
Given the Greek debt crisis and the steep corrections on Chinese stock markets, the Aussie dollar (above) may even fall to 99 cents against the Singdollar soon, says Mr Saktiandi Supaat, head of forex research at Maybank Singapore.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

It drops to S$1.0031 due to weak global commodity prices and rising greenback

The tumbling Australian dollar is now a hair's breadth from parity with the Singapore dollar, which is good news for travellers Down Under and Singapore students studying there.

Weak global commodity prices and the rising greenback have taken a toll on the Australian currency.

The Aussie dollar dropped to as low as 1.0019 against the Singdollar yesterday afternoon, but strengthened to 1.0031 at about 8pm.

It has fallen about 8 per cent since the start of the year and 16 per cent since last July. It is now at its weakest since the global financial crisis in 2009.

The lower rate means travellers and families funding their children's education in Australia will be able to stretch their Singapore dollar further, noted Mr Saktiandi Supaat, head of forex research at Maybank Singapore.

But local firms with investments there - such as Singtel, which owns the country's second-largest telecoms firm Optus - could be affected when repatriating earnings.

Developers Frasers Centrepoint and CapitaLand have a notable presence in Australia as well.

Still, Mr Supaat added: "Most will not be affected if they keep their currencies abroad."

He also said Singapore investors with property in Australia will pay less in Singapore-dollar terms to service their mortgages.

Phillip Futures forex dealer Bryan Lum, however, cautioned that the property market in Australia could be affected by China's economic uncertainty, which has already sparked a brutal selloff in its own equity markets.

"Chinese investors, who largely drive demand in the Australian property market, are henceforth likely to liquidate or hold off on their foreign asset purchases, thereby exerting downward pressure on housing prices," he said.

"As a result, Singaporeans who own property in Australia could see a slump in the prices of their property investments."

  • WHO STANDS TO GAIN

    • Singapore travellers heading Down Under

    • Families who are funding their children's education in Australia

    • Singapore investors with property in Australia, who will pay less in Singapore-dollar terms to service their mortgages

    WHO COULD LOSE OUT

    • Local companies with investments there, such as Singtel - which owns the country's second largest telecoms firm Optus - could be affected when repatriating earnings

The Aussie dollar has been sliding in value on the back of falling commodity prices, as the country's mining investment boom reaches the end of its cycle. One key factor has been lower demand for iron ore from China, its largest importer.

Mr Supaat said with global jitters on the rise - given the Greek debt crisis and the steep corrections on Chinese markets - the Aussie dollar has "room to head lower".

He expects the currency to match the Singdollar any time and said it could even fall to 99 cents soon.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2015, with the headline 'Aussie dollar almost equal to Singdollar'. Print Edition | Subscribe