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Australian dollar falls below 76 US cents, hits lowest level since financial crisis

Australian dollar falls below 76 US cents, hits lowest level since financial crisis

CANBERRA: Australian dollar hit its lowest level since the depths of the global financial crisis.

Now markets are betting on how low the dollar will go as the softer currency starts working its way through the economy.

Earlier this morning the dollar went as low as 75.6 US cents – the lowest point since May 2009 in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse and ensuing global financial crisis.

The lower dollar represents a welcome shift for the Australian economy after peaking at more than 110 US cents in August 2011 when Australia was riding the wave of the mining boom.

While the surging dollar was great news for anyone travelling overseas – especially to the United States – it was crunching local exporters.

Many smaller players went to wall and big local manufacturers – including Ford, Holden and Toyota – are now moving offshore citing the high dollar as one factor.

But now the tables are turning, with the dollar lower in part because good economic news in the US is fuelling a resurgent greenback.

Yesterday, Reserve Bank assistant governor Chris Kent noted that exports of services such as tourism and education are bouncing back and, in terms of income, they are overtaking exports of iron ore which is now below $US58 a tonne this morning.