Australian dollar knocked as RBA warns on housing market

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Don’t get ahead of yourselves, rest of the world; it might still be too early to (again) call the death of the Australian property market.

But the Reserve Bank of Australia’s more worried tone about the nation’s housing market have given the Australian dollar a bit of a kicking today.

The dollarydoo was down 0.2 per cent at $0.7715 in early European trade, but had dropped by as much as 0.4 per cent after the minutes from the RBA’s March meeting warned of a “build-up of risks associated with the housing market”, given a surge in investment borrowing and still-strong price gains in markets like Sydney and Melbourne.

“This is the first time in a while that we have seen the RBA refer to risks around the housing market in such an explicit manner,” said Sally Auld, JPMorgan’s Sydney-based economist.

The yield on 10-year Australian bonds which move inversely to price, was down 1.5 basis points to 2.808 per cent.

Despite this new language, the central bank gave away few hints it was considering cutting the cash rate further to support the economy.

Solid economic growth in the December quarter meant Australia has gone 25.5 years without a recession. And while naysayers have long (and wrong) said it will all end in tears, the country is just six months short of surpassing the Netherlands’ record for years of consecutive growth.

Sure, it might not go on forever, but don’t gloat when it happens; betting against Australia has been such a widowmaker it doesn’t really count that you picked it correctly on your fifth attempt.

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