The Australian dollar on Monday morning weakened below parity against the Singapore dollar for the first time since it last closed below that level in March 2009 during the global financial crisis.

One Australian dollar could buy $0.9981 Singapore dollars as at 11.20am on Monday.

The Australian dollar has been hurt by slowing global demand for the country’s commodities in recent months.

On Friday, the Australian dollar dropped to its weakest level in six years against the US dollar as a gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity unexpectedly fell to the lowest level in 15 months. China is the biggest market for Australia’s natural resources.

A slowdown in China has been a major contributor to the Australian dollar’s weakness. Australia’s mining and agricultural sectors make up a significant share of the country’s economy, with the products to be exported mainly to the East Asian market.

Singapore firms that derive a large part of their income from Australia include Singapore Telecommunications and Frasers Centrepoint.

Economists say the outlook for the Australian economy remains cloudy, particularly as the commodities boom that fuelled the country’s growth in the decade to 2013 is now over.

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