Australian dollar

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The Australian dollar is the official currency of the Commonwealth of Australia and its territories. It is divided into 100 cents. The dollar replaced the pound as the currency of Australia in 1966 when decimalised currency was adopted there.

Domestically, the $ symbol is used unqualified to represent the Australian dollar. In international dealings, when it is important to distinguish it from the US and other dollar currencies, the symbol AUD or AU$ is used.

The Australian currency is available in notes of $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5, and coins of $2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c. Australian banknotes are unusual in that they are made from plastic rather than paper.

Initially, the Australian dollar was pegged to the British pound, but when the latter was devalued in 1967, the Australian dollar was pegged instead to the US dollar. This changed to a moving peg in 1971. In 1974 the exchange rate policy changed again, and the Australian dollar was pegged to a basket of international currencies. It was not until 1983 that a floating exchange rate was introduced by the modernising treasurer Paul Keating. As of May 2011, the Australian dollar is worth around 1.05 US dollars.

As Australian trade relies heavily on exports of minerals and agricultural products, the strength of the Australian dollar is closely tied to the value of those products.

See also