For investors looking to gain exposure to the Australian dollar, the CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust (FXA) is the only option currently available to U.S. investors. The fund, started in June 2006, currently has an expense ration of 0.40% of Australian Dollar held in the Trust and 5 million in total Australian Dollars per basket. It has just under 8 million shares outstanding.
FXA’s net asset value (NAV) has been steadily increasing over the past twelve months. Though the fund saw decreases during the 2008-2009 recession, the Australian dollar has been steadily rebounding and has recently gained significantly on the U.S. dollar, reaching within 0.2 percent of its record against the currency. This increase was driven mainly by higher commodity prices, such as oil, and led to a rosier outlook for the South Pacific’s exports, according to Bloomberg.
Though their export market is gaining momentum, Australia has been plagued recently by debt. Australia’s account deficit is currently over 20 billion dollars and continues to rise. In addition, they were greatly affected by the ‘real estate bubble’ collapse and are still recovering and rebounding from the recession.
A development within the Australian economy gaining a lot of press is the talks with New Zealand about fully integrating their economies by forming an Australasian Single Economic Market by 2015. The Australian and New Zealand economies have already benefitted from working in conjunction with one another for the past five years: this would just provide the final step for the full integration of the economies.
Futures traders have increased bets that the Australian dollar will gain against the U.S. currency, figures from the Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed recently. For those wishing to gain exposure to this gaining currency while still hedging risk, the FXA is a good, albeit only, option.