The Australian Dollar (AUD) is currently the third-most-traded currency in world foreign exchange markets. Only two years ago it was in fifth place behind the US dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and the UK pound sterling.
The “Aussie” is popular with currency traders due to Australia’s comparatively high interest rates, the relative freedom of the foreign exchange market from government intervention, Australia’s relative economic and political stability, and the prevailing view that the Aus dollar offers diversification benefits in a portfolio containing major world currencies – owing to its greater exposure to Asian economies and the commodities cycle.
Australia’s mining sector is driving the country’s economy amidst a worldwide recession, and this is reflected in the rising value of the nation’s currency. Australian Dollars, being pegged to what is essentially a resource economy, are viewed as a good safe-haven for currency investors.
This is particularly momentous against the backdrop of a declining US Dollar. Looking back only nine years, the Australian currency was trading at an all-time low against the “greenback”, at approximately 49 cents.
By contrast, Australia’s currency reached an historic parity with the US currency in November of 2010, frequently oputperforming the USD during 2011, with many leading economists predicting this stellar performance to continue well into the foreseeable future.