Monday, April 25, 2011

Interest Rates Outlook Causes Weekly Slump of Dollar, Forex

The US dollar was performing terribly this week against both commodity and safe currencies among signs of economic growth and on speculation that the Federal Reserve will lag with an increase of the interest rates.

The bad performance of the US currency against its safe-haven counterparts was expected, but the drop versus currencies linked to growth wasn’t anticipated. The persisting Europe’s problems with sovereign debt should’ve spurred the greenback against commodity currencies, but that hasn’t happened. It’s surprising to see how easily markets shook off fears of the European crisis and restored their risk appetite.

The strength of commodity currencies against the dollar has the same explanation as before: the global recovery. The US economy itself provided very the confusing signs: while its weak housing market turned out to be better than it was considered, the growth of manufacturing, the one of the strongest US sectors, slowed significantly and unexpectedly. As for performance versus other currencies, analysts remind us about the same old story: the quantitative easing. The US policy makers started talking about an end to the accommodative stance, but talks aren’t enough when other banks, most notably the European Central Bank and Sweden’s Riksbank, already began raising their borrowing costs.

EUR/USD has broken its resistance and jumped from 1.4411 to 1.4647, the highest level since December 2009, over the week, closing at 1.4559. USD/JPY fell from 83.21 to 81.85. USD/SEK closed at 6.1034 after opening at 6.1930 and reaching 6.0717, the lowest level since August 2008.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the US Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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