GBP AUD Awaits RBA Meeting Minutes  

GBP AUD Lower Despite Confidence at Pandemic Lows

The GBP AUD exchange rate was trading higher on Monday as the pair awaits the latest Reserve Bank meeting minutes. With traders now pricing in a June rate hike, after the Federal Election, the latest policy comments may not offer much change. Tuesday brings the Westpac leading index for Australia in a light week for UK data.

The GBP to AUD is trading at 1.7660 as the week’s trading begins.

Joyce calls for more coal mines in Australia for healthcare

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was vital not to lose sight of how to pay for health and welfare as voters head to the polls on May 21.

The incoming federal government will have a role in assessing three coal mines in Queensland. Renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuels are key issues in many seats, with a new wave of independents arguing for stronger action on carbon emissions.

But, Joyce said the current coalition government would invest in “the things that make us money”.

“Medicare and social security have to be paid for,” he said.

The key even this week is RBA minutes and that may not provide any change to traders’ expectations for a June rate hike. If anything, the minutes may be more dovish, but inflation and interest rate moves from other central banks have created a more hawkish outlook since the last meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia policymakers.

Heathrow airport at busiest since early 2020

There was better news for the travel industry after Heathrow Airport announced its busiest month since the start of the coronavirus crisis in March 2020.

In total, 4.2 million passengers travelled through the UK’s largest airport last month, an eight-fold increase on the same period in 2021. In February 2020, ahead of the pandemic, the airport was used by 5.4 million.

Heathrow said that demand was fuelled by outbound travel during school holidays and at weekends. The travel industry has been hard hit by government lockdowns but may be ready to see brighter days ahead.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “It is fantastic to see the airport coming back to life after two years, and I want to thank all Heathrow colleagues for working together to serve our passengers.

“Everyone at Heathrow is doing everything we can to make sure passengers get on their way as smoothly and safely as possible.”

Airports are expected to be busier this summer than they were before the pandemic.

Boris Johnson will be under pressure this week to defend his leadership as MPs are set to grill him on his role in the Partygate saga. That could put pressure on the pound sterling as traders react to political instability. Rishi Sunak was also fined for attending a lockdown party and that saw his favouritism for the role dwindle, alongside a tax-related scandal with his wife.

Angela Rayner, the party’s deputy leader, said the fixed penalty notices are evidence of “widespread criminality at the heart of Downing Street”.