The Australian dollar has skidded to a seven-year low as commodity prices plunge and global stock markets tank on concerns around the Chinese economy and broader global growth prospects. At 7.20am (AEDT), the local unit is trading at US68.61c, down from US69.54c on Friday.
The currency plunged to US68.27c during the Saturday morning session, the currency’s lowest mark since April 2009 when markets were still struggling to recover from the shock of Lehman Brothers’ 2008 collapse. The heavy losses came as Wall Street stocks tumbled over 2 per cent, extending the worst start to a year for key indexes in history.
The local unit is seen as a growth-oriented and resource-oriented currency, with talk of slowing global growth and sliding commodity prices the cause of the recent pain. Several base metals have plumbed multi-year troughs in the past week, while oil prices dipped below $US30 in Friday trade as they reached fresh 12-year lows.