Reserve Bank of Australia
Australian house prices have once again defied expectations, this time from the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, by resuming a seemingly unstoppable upward trajectory. While the Reserve Bank of Australia continues to insist rate hikes are not coming in the medium term, speculation is mounting about macroprudential intervention and financial-stability risk.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has revealed the next phase of its QE programme, which includes a slight tapering of volume and additional flexibility. The central bank continues to believe extraordinary monetary support is needed given weak inflation outcomes even as the Australian economy expands.
Updates in early 2021 confirm that there will be no reprieve for the international IBOR complex and only a temporary stay of execution for some specific rates. Market participants say Australasia – where rates based on bank bills will continue to exist, at least for the time being – is still insufficiently engaged with the transition process, including in the context of all-important cross-currency swaps.
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published a report on 14 April detailing the transmission mechanisms of physical and transition climate risks into financial stability risk. Risks can be observed through traditional lenses, but the committee says more research is needed fully to understand the potential impact of climate change on the financial system.
KangaNews hosted its annual roundtable discussion for Australia’s leading bank fixed-income strategists in February – just as a new round of market speculation on the path of Reserve Bank of Australia stimulus was kicking off. The strategists remain convinced that Australian QE is set for some time, however – and that the market will continue to revolve around the gravitational pull of the central bank.
As environmental, social and governance issues become ever-more integrated with the credit investment process in Australia, the issue of pricing consequences for strong and weak performers is more relevant than ever. This is no longer just a question for direct emitters but also for companies with business models adjacent to emissions-intensive industries.