Dol­lar drops to 10-year low

Shepparton News - Country News - - THE WEATHER YEAR THAT WAS -

The Aus­tralian dol­lar briefly dropped to its low­est lev­els in 10 years against the US green­back, be­fore re­bound­ing slightly as cur­rency mar­kets ex­pe­ri­enced ma­jor volatil­ity last week.

The Aus­tralian dol­lar plunged more than three per cent against the US dol­lar and six per cent against the yen as part of a flash crash in the cur­rency mar­kets.

It hit a low of 67.49 US cents, its low­est level since early 2009, be­fore mak­ing up half of its losses five min­utes later.

The US dol­lar, the Aussie and the Bri­tish pound also crashed against the yen about the same time be­fore sim­i­larly re­bound­ing.

‘‘It’s been ab­so­lutely nuts,’’ Chris We­ston, head of re­search at Pep­per­stone Group in Mel­bourne, said.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously ev­ery­one’s scratch­ing around to find an ex­pla­na­tion.’’

Mr We­ston said it ap­peared the US dol­lar first col­lapsed against the yen, and that dragged the ma­jor cur­rency pairs with it.

He said trad­ing was thin at the time, with United States mar­kets closed and Ja­panese traders on hol­i­day, and blamed the flash crash in part on al­go­rith­mic trad­ing.

‘‘It comes at a time when the mar­kets are very anx­ious any­way,’’ he said.

At 4 pm last Thurs­day, the Aussie had re­cov­ered most of its losses against the green­back, trad­ing at 69.46 US cents.

That is still its low­est level in al­most three years, since Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Mean­while, the ASX has surged ahead with across-the-board gains.

The bench­mark S&P/ASX200 in­dex closed up 75.6 points, or 1.36 per cent, to 5633.4 at 4.15 pm on Thurs­day, led by en­ergy stocks on the back of higher oil prices.

As of last Fri­day, a $375 fine will be is­sued to those bring­ing in fruit, in­stead of the cau­tion pre­vi­ously meted out.

Mr Whet­stone said new elec­tronic signs will tell driv­ers to ‘Eat it or Bin it’ on ap­proach to the Yamba sta­tion on the bor­der with Vic­to­ria, adding that declar­ing pro­duce there with­out penalty was no longer an op­tion.

Fresh fruit and fruit­ing veg­eta­bles can­not be car­ried from in­ter­state into South Aus­tralia, un­less they com­ply with im­port

No more warn­ings . . . Peo­ple car­ry­ing fruit into South Aus­tralia will now be hit with a hefty fine in a bid to pro­tect the state’s fruit fly-free sta­tus.

Cash crash . . . Cur­rency mar­kets ex­pe­ri­enced ma­jor volatil­ity last week.

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