Dollar dealt another blow

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted Oct. 14, 2010 at 12:39 p.m.

The dollar fell sharply against a broad range of currencies Thursday as prospects for Asian economic growth contrasted with the likely need for more stimulus in the U.S.

A monetary-tightening move overnight by the Monetary Authority of Singapore accelerated the dollar’s slide, knocking the greenback to long-term lows against rivals in Asia, Europe and North America before regaining some poise in New York trading.

Investors viewed the MAS decision to widen and raise the trading band for the Singapore dollar as an indication Asian economies are now strong enough to tolerate monetary tightening, while the dollar languishes under the likelihood of more easing by the Federal Reserve.

“Last night’s MAS move really set in motion a broad dollar move,” said Jens Nordvig, head of G-10 foreign exchange strategy at Nomura Securities in New York.

The news accelerated dollar selling that had already been stoked by concern over low U.S. interest rates, a run-up in Asian equities this week and large gains in commodities like gold and oil.

The combination drove the yen as well as higher-yielding currencies to notable levels.

The dollar ground down to a fresh 15-year-low against the yen of Y80.88, with investors on high alert for yen-weakening intervention by Japan. The ICE Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. dollar against a trade-weighted basket of currencies, dropped to its lowest level this year at 76.259 from 77.060 late Wednesday.

China’s yuan surged to its highest point against the dollar since the Chinese currency began regular trading in 1994, due to a record-low dollar-yuan central parity rate and the dollar’s broad weakness in Asia.

The euro broke to $1.4123, its highest level since January. The Canadian dollar traded below parity for the first time since April, while the Australian dollar hit US$0.9993, its highest point since it was floated in 1983. The dollar dropped to an all-time low against the Swiss franc at CHF0.9464.

In New York trading, the dollar recovered from its worst levels, but remained down sharply on the day. The overnight slide had simply gone too far, too fast, and bit of a correction was natural, said analysts.

Late Thursday morning, the euro was at $1.4071 from $1.3964 from late Wednesday, according to EBS via CQG. The dollar was at Y81.45 from Y81.74, while the euro was at Y114.60 from Y114.14. The U.K. pound was at $1.6005 from $1.5892. The dollar was at CHF0.9532 from CHF0.9584. The Dollar Index was at 76.579 from 77.060.

With the dollar perilously close to its all-time low against the yen, investors are keenly attuned to any reaction from Japanese authorities.

Japanese Prime Minster Naoto Kan said Thursday that excess volatility in foreign exchange rates is unfavorable, Kyodo News reported. The comment came after the dollar fell briefly to Y80.88 for the first time since April 1995.

Different trading systems report different levels as the all-time low in the dollar against the yen, but Y79.75 is widely viewed as the benchmark figure for the all-time low. Interbank trading system EBS, which is often used as a source of market rates, puts the all-time low slightly higher at Y79.92.

Japan needs to consider “various decisions,” Kyodo reported Kan as saying, and the government will take decisive action to curb the yen’s rise when necessary.

The Canadian dollar moved slightly away from parity, with the U.S. dollar trading at C$1.0031 from C$1.0038 late Wednesday. It reached a low of C$0.9976 in overnight trading.

The break through par has not generated any additional momentum or attention for the Canadian currency, which in subsequent trading under performed other currencies against the U.S. dollar.

“It is a much more muted parity ‘party’ for the 1 8 Canadian dollar 3 8 this time round–for one thing, the market traded below par as recently as April and for another, the 1 8 Canadian dollar 3 8 continues to under perform broadly despite printing barely and briefly below par earlier in the session,” said TD Securities.

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One comment:

  1. theo prinse Oct. 26, 2010 at 9:34 a.m.

    Oil, oil, oil ! The United Kingdom is executing huge government spending austerity plans because British Petroleum cannot ensure its pension funds ! If the US government would cut what Britain does it would amount to $ 700. So there is ground to say the United States is a socialist state – a redistributing mechanism !
    Oil is at the bottom of the international crisis ! because of the high (islam) energy prices. Energy is in (the price of) every other product, so a lowering of the (nuclear)energyprice by means of a 100+ nuclear reactors and a large Electric Automobile Industry, would increase the standard of living.
    In this view it’s clear that the current silent islamicization of the western world (Europe), the stealth jihadi muslim grip (as James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Robert Spencer cs. so eloquently put it) – via OPEC – on our energy prices, the American and international Green Ecological Organisations, the current US administration & ceasaro-papist Europe but also the US democratic party, part of the GOP and … US Big Oil, to name some important players, are all instrumental in this international monetary crisis.
    The current administration of the Kenyan, Timothy Geithner, dr. Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke etc. have no support in corporate America to adopt new economic policies to get us out of this mess ! (T.Prinse, the Netherlands)