The currency has plunged to a record low against the dollar, and many of Australia’s biggest companies have found themselves in the sights of Chinese authorities.
In a sign that the global economy has not yet fully recovered from the shock wave from the Shanghai Composite collapse, companies including Suncorp and Telstra reported record quarterly profits on Monday.
The fallout from a steep decline in the value of the Australian dollar to US$1.12 was felt in the financial markets, as the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the country’s banks reported losses of $932 million and non-financials reported $936 million.
The Australian dollar has lost almost half its value against the US dollar since hitting a record high of US$2.10 on the Chinese trading day of March 16.
The latest data shows that the price of Australian dollars has fallen by almost one-quarter from the peak of $US1.14 in February and is currently trading at $US2.08.
The impact of the collapse has hit the likes of the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and the Australian Financial Review, which reported a $50 million profit in the first quarter.
Despite the economic downturn, the government has announced $20 billion in cuts to education and health spending, with $16 billion in funding earmarked for community services.
The cuts are aimed at improving Australia’s schools, and the government hopes to reduce the number of students taking Australian higher education courses from about 10,000 in 2018 to about 4,000 by 2021.
China’s government is also set to cut the amount of money that the Australian Government will receive from China from $US9 billion in 2019 to $US4.3 billion by 2020, the Federal Government said on Tuesday.
While the financial impact has been devastating for the Australian community, there are a number of businesses that are now benefiting from the fallout.
The Commonwealth Bank has reported that its net profits have increased by more than 30 per cent to $3.4 billion, and has reported a profit of $2.1 billion in the year to March 31.
Suncorp’s net profit is up by more to $1.2 billion, to $4.4 million.
Telstra’s net profits are up by about $1 billion, while Westpac has recorded a profit rise of $1 million to $2 million.AAP/ABC