The Australian dollar rose on Monday as a stronger-than-expected retail sales report added to the case of higher interest rates at home, although volatile global risk sentiment has capped the gains.
The commodity-sensitive currencies often track global risk sentiment, and risk appetite has been dulled by Israel’s push to surround Gaza’s main city in a self-declared “second phase” of a three-week war against Iranian-backed Hamas militants. Data on Monday showed Australia’s retail sales rose 0.9% in September from August, the largest increase in eight months and beating analysts’ expectations for a 0.3% increase. That led markets to slightly ramp up the bets for a hike in November to 61% from 58% before. “The September retail data today reinforces our view the economy is surprisingly resilient, and adds to the case to hike in Nov-23,” said analysts at UBS. “Indeed, if this continues, it adds to the risk of an additional RBA hike of 25bps to 4.60% in Feb-24.”