TOKYO -- When Australia's central bank shocked markets by raising interest rates by half a percentage point last week, twice as much as expected and the largest rise in over 20 years, the news jolted the Aussie dollar higher. For about an hour.
The quick reversal was in keeping with the behavior of a currency that can't seem to catch a break. At 71.2 U.S. cents in late Friday trading, the Australian dollar was 1.4% lower against its American counterpart than it had been at the start of the week. It is down 8% over the past year.