Australian Dollar Declines

The Australian dollar fell, taking its loss from a 25-year high reached a month ago to 12 percent, as prices of commodities slid and traders bet on lower interest rates.

The Australian currency posted its fourth weekly decline, the longest losing streak since October 2006, as gold, the nation's third most-valuable raw material export, slumped almost 8 percent.

Australia's dollar fell 1.4 percent to 86.35 U.S. cents at 4:39 p.m. in Sydney from 87.61 cents late in Asia yesterday, and 88.85 cents in New York a week ago. It dropped to 85.93 cents on Aug. 13, the weakest since Jan. 23. The currency dropped to 95.15 yen from 96.10 yen yesterday. It has slipped 2.8 percent this week, its fourth weekly decline.

The Australian dollar, or Aussie, is the worst performer among the 16 most-traded currencies in the past month and has fallen from a 25-year high of 98.49 cents touched July 16 as investors began to bet on lower borrowing costs.

Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Ric Battellino said yesterday the central bank ``is in a position to consider'' cutting interest rates even before inflation slows.

Traders are betting the RBA will lower its benchmark rate of 7.25 percent by 1.1 percentage points over the next 12 months, according to a Credit Suisse Group index based on interest-rate swaps. A month ago they were betting on no change.

Australia's dollar has fallen 8.5 percent versus the dollar through August as the UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index of 26 raw materials dropped 6.3 percent.

Australian Dollar Declines, Bloomberg
8/15/2008 6:27:18 AM