The Australian Hilsenrath destroyed AUD/USD today

Author: Adam Button | Category: News

Witness the power of Terry McCrann.

McCrann is the RBA watcher at the Australian Herald-Sun and he dropped a bomb earlier saying it’s “almost certain” the RBA will cut rates on Feb 3.

That report is largely responsible for the plunge in the Australian dollar today. It’s been a see-saw in AUD/USD since the Bank of Canada surprise.

The Aussie initially tumbled because suddenly it felt like everyone was going to cut and the OIS market went to pricing in a 40% chance of a cut from 10%. A day or two later, the market began to realize Australian and Canada are different countries and the oil plunge that has wrecked BOC plans aren’t a factor for the RBA.

On top of that Aussie CPI numbers were higher and that knocked OIS probabilities down to 12%. Then the RBNZ backed away from a hawkish stance and lately the US dollar is on a run of its own but the big driver was McCrann.

After 18 months of keeping its official interest rate unchanged, the Reserve Bank will almost certainly cut the rate at its first meeting back for the year next Tuesday.

What is absolutely certain is that the key language in RBA governor Glenn Stevens’s post-meeting statement will change. That would obviously be the case if he’s announcing a 25-point cut, but it would change to “signalling a future cut” even in the now unlikely case the rate was left unchanged.

I’ll spare you trying to make sense of the rest of McCrann’s almost-unreadably bad writing but he goes further to say as much as a full point of rate hikes could be coming.

Now, it sees a series of rate cuts — at least two 25-pointers, perhaps as many as four — as not just likely but all-but as inevitable through 2015.

After that, the market pricing of a rate cut has moved up to 61% for a cut next week.

Now, I’m not going to question Terry McCrann. Oh wait, yes I am. Terry McCrann has a terrible RBA forecasting record and he often comes out with these kind of tabloid-grabbing lines that have no place in respectable central bank watching.

Now, McCrann might get it right this time. But consider that he had a nearly-unblemished record of being wrong in 2012 and had to write an ‘I was wrong’ column in 2011 after a similar stunt.

Bet on an RBA cut by selling the Australian dollar if you want. But don’t do it because of something Terry McCrann wrote.


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