The stronger U.S. dollar has claimed an array of victims across the forex arena this year and the Australian dollar has been far from immune. The Aussie has been one of the worst-performing developed market currencies against the greenback this year and that has translated into a year-to-date loss of 10% for the CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust (NYSEArca: FXA).
Some near-term technical relief could be on the way for the Aussie and FXA. MacNeill Curry, head of foreign-exchange and interest-rates technical strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the Aussie may rise to 94.07 U.S. cents, approaching its strongest level since June 19, reports Andrea Wong for Bloomberg.
Curry said he expects AUD/USD to rise after forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern. The Aussie got some fundamental help earlier this week when the Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged at a record low of 2.5%. However, some traders still believe RBA will lower rates again before the end of this year. [Central Bank Bonanza Could Impact These ETFs]
FXA needs to rally through resistance at $92 to spark new buying and the ETF currently languishes nearly 7.2% below its 200-day moving average. Even if the inverse head and shoulders is confirmed, Curry warned the Aussie would later resume its down trend. He said he set a long-term target for the currency of 80.66 U.S. cents, the lowest since July 2009, Bloomberg reported.
The Australian dollar is the second-worst performing developed market currency in the world this year trailing only the Japanese yen. Additional headwinds or catalysts for the downtrodden currency could appear soon with Australia’s looming national elections.
In July, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd regained Australia’s top elected position after ousting Julia Gillard from that spot. However, observers view Rudd as vulnerable to defeat at the hands of conservative opponent, Tony Abbott. [Politics Could Weigh on Australia ETFs]
Even with the Aussie’s dismal performance this year, RBA views the currency as overvalued and a threat to the country’s efforts to get other sectors to contribute more to economic growth as the mining boom wanes.
Traders looking for more upside in the event of an Aussie dollar rally should consider the ProShares Ultra Australian Dollar (NYSEArca: GDAY), which attempts to deliver daily returns “that correspond to two times the daily performance of the U.S. Dollar price of the Australian Dollar,” according to ProShares.
ProShares Ultra Australian Dollar
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.