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6 Oct 2023 - Hedge Clippings | 06 October 2023



Hedge Clippings | 06 October 2023

As expected, the RBA kept rates on hold last Tuesday, and in the Governor's statement following the board meeting, incoming chair Michele Bullock stuck to her predecessor's script: While cautious, she expects inflation won't be back to the 2-3% target range until late 2025 - at least 2 years away.

As always, the last sentence of RBA-speak remained consistent: "The Board remains resolute in its determination to return inflation to target and will do what is necessary to achieve that outcome." That warning provides those economists predicting one more rate rise this cycle the chance that they'll be proven correct, but based on the numbers available at present, the 12 upward steps totaling 4.0% taken to date seem to be having the intended result - although the progress is painfully slow, while the effect on mortgage holders is just painful.

Things may seem steady in Australia (at least on the monetary policy front) but in spite of our comment in last week's Hedge Clippings that the outlook for US rates was broadly the same as here (i.e. steady as she goes, although "higher for longer") but with the chance of one more rate rise, that possibility seems to have been confirmed.

The market was certainly not waiting for confirmation: The yield on 30-year US government bonds hit 5% on Tuesday for the first time since 2007. In the United Kingdom, the yield on 30-year bonds also reached 5% this week, the highest level in more than two decades.

Yields on German long-dated bonds are back to levels last seen in 2011. Yields on Italy's 10-year bonds hit 5% on Wednesday, the highest level since 2012, when the Eurozone debt crisis was in full swing.

So even though the outlook for Australian rates may be cautiously optimistic, (i.e.staying steady) the global outlook for bonds, and, as a result, equities, is causing considerable pain both globally and in Australia.

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