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Why Does the Australian Dollar Move so Closely with the Terms of Trade?

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Author Info

  • David Gruen

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Tro Kortian

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

The paper is motivated by two empirical results. Australia’s terms of trade exhibit temporary fluctuations around a slowly declining trend, and movements in Australia’s real exchange rate tend to follow those in the terms of trade. Together these results imply predictability in Australia’s real exchange rate as well as the presence of predictable excess returns that are sometimes quite large. Using a simple econometric model, with the terms of trade as the sole explanator, the paper demonstrates the forecastability of Australia’s real exchange rate over horizons ranging from one to two years. It then quantifies the magnitude of the predictable excess returns to holding Australian dollar denominated assets over such horizons, finding them to be highly variable and sometimes quite large in magnitude. The results suggest a relative scarcity of forward-looking foreign exchange market participants with an investment horizon of a year or more.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp9601.

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Date of creation: May 1996
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Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp9601

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  1. Adrian Blundell-Wignall & Robert G. Gregory, 1990. "Exchange Rate Policy in Advanced Commodity-Exporting Countries: The Case of Australia and New Zealand," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 83, OECD Publishing.
  2. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  3. Gruen, David W R & Wilkinson, Jenny, 1994. "Australia's Real Exchange Rate--Is It Explained by the Terms of Trade or by Real Interest Differentials?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 70(209), pages 204-19, June.
  4. Mark P. Taylor, 1995. "The Economics of Exchange Rates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 13-47, March.
  5. David Gruen & Geoffrey Shuetrim, 1994. "Internationalisation and the Macroeconomy," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Philip Lowe & Jacqueline Dwyer (ed.), International Intergration of the Australian Economy Reserve Bank of Australia.
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