VT Markets APP

Trade CFDs on FX, Gold and more


MARKETS TODAY: RBA holds rates high as inflation challenges loom

May 8, 2024

Key points

  • RBA Interest Rate Hold: The Reserve Bank of Australia keeps rates steady at 4.35%.
  • Global Stock Resilience: Despite challenges, global stocks show enduring strength, partly fueled by corporate earnings.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has chosen to maintain its interest rate at a 12-year peak of 4.35%, defying some market predictions that anticipated a rate increase. This decision comes as Australia grapples with persistently high inflation rates, which have exceeded early 2023 forecasts.

Given the current economic climate, it’s plausible that the Australian dollar (AUD/USD) might regain strength due to the attractive interest rate differential compared to other major currencies.

The RBA staff projects an average inflation rate of 3.8% from now until December, with a return to the target range of 2-3% only by the end of 2025.

This extended period of elevated inflation suggests potential long-term challenges for consumer purchasing power and cost of living adjustments. It’s reasonable to forecast that this could lead to more cautious consumer spending and potentially slower economic growth.

You might like: Australian dollar dips, bonds rally as RBA maintains interest rates

Following the RBA’s announcement, the AUD/USD experienced an initial decline. Nonetheless, there is a possibility for stabilisation or even a reversal in this trend, particularly if the U.S. dollar sees weakening due to lower Treasury yields—a scenario that might emerge following weaker-than-expected U.S. job data.

Positive stock markets

On a broader scale, global stock markets remain relatively buoyant. European stocks, for instance, have seen modest gains, with the Stoxx 600 index up by 0.3%. This uptick is supported by strong corporate earnings, exemplified by companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Siemens Energy. This aligns with past trends where positive earnings reports have often served as catalysts for stock market gains.

In contrast, the U.S. stock futures show stability, and the dollar has strengthened across three consecutive sessions, influenced by rising Treasury yields. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve officials have hinted at maintaining the current interest rates for an extended period, which might temper market volatility.

Geopolitical tensions continue

Internationally, geopolitical tensions and trade discussions, such as those during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Europe, continue to influence market sentiments. Decisions made in these high-level meetings often have ripple effects across global markets, impacting everything from stock prices to currency values.

For commodities, oil prices have recently dipped to their lowest since mid-March, a move that might influence inflationary pressures differently across various economies. Such fluctuations in commodity prices are critical to monitor, as they often precede shifts in both market sentiment and economic policies.

Start trading today. Open a live account with VT Markets.