Because I buy and sell US shares, I need to monitor the exchange rate for CGT calculations. I use the ATO website to obtain the figures as they have tables of daily exchange rates updated a few days after the end of each month. When doing my tax return recently I noticed that the highest rate of AUD/USD went above $1.12 in May with its peak at $1.1281.
So I was quite surprised to read today that the AUD/USD rate has reached a post float high of $US1.1062.
With another jump in the past two weeks, largely on the back of the deteriorating debt-ceiling debate in the US that has weighed on that country's currency, the Australian dollar hit $US1.1062 today, its highest level since being floated in 1983.
So what is different between the rates being reported in the news and the rates published by the ATO that there is this discrepancy?
Here is a link to the ATO rates, for May 2011:
If you look at the first table (2-6 May) and go to the row for the USA (2nd from bottom), it lists 1.1281 as the rate for 2nd May. It cannot just be a one off error, as the rates shown from 27 April through to 11 May are all greater than 1.1062 except for just a few days (5th to 9th May)