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Thursday April 24, 2008 - 21:14:35 GMT
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U.S. Dollar Strength and Euro Weakness Expected to Continue

16:59 04/24 (CEP News) – The U.S. dollar had its best day in a month on Thursday as it gained against most major currencies including the euro, which fell 1.3%.

The greenback strengthened on a combination of weak overseas figures and an unexpected improvement in U.S. economic data.

The euro began its fall after the Munich-based Ifo institute’s German business climate index fell to 102.4 from 104.8 in March. The survey of 7,000 executives was expected at 104.3.

The U.S. dollar was aided by a report showing durable goods orders for March, excluding transportation, increased 1.5% against expectations of a 0.5% increase. Meanwhile, initial jobless claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. came in at 342k, down from expectations for a 375k reading.

The euro is down 0.0209 to 1.5679 against the U.S. dollar – its worst day since December 2007. The U.S. Dollar Index is up 0.757 points to 72.575. The Dollar Index is a weighted average of the USD against the Canadian dollar, Japanese yen, pound sterling, Swedish krona and euro (which makes up more than half the index). Of the components, only the Canadian dollar was up on the USD Thursday.

Earlier Thursday morning, currency strategists Adam Fazio and Shane Enright at CIBC World Markets correctly forecast the Dollar Index rally and euro sell off.

“The report was based on technicals, the [U.S.] dollar was starting to look like it would strengthen,” said Fazio.

Using technical analysis, Fazio said he expects the Dollar Index to move toward 74.70 and the euro to decline to 1.55.

“Maybe we’ll even go back to 1.50 but as long as 1.50 holds we might trade in a range for the next six-to-nine months and then break higher,” Fazio said.

Fazio said fundamentals also support a rebound in the U.S. dollar. Federal Reserve officials are believed to be nearing the end of a rate cutting cycle while other central banks have slowed the pace of rate increases and some could begin cutting rates, Fazio said.

“If the Fed comes to a bottom, that takes away one of the factors that’s caused dollar weakness,” he said.

On other crosses, the euro was trading down 0.64 against the Japanese yen at 163.63. The euro dropped 0.00780 against the pound sterling to 0.79442, while EUR/CAD fell 0.0255 to 1.5900.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.30 cents to 0.9860 against the USD (1.01415 USD/CAD). The U.S. dollar was up 0.94 to 104.32 against the yen. The pound sterling was down 0.70 cents to 1.9735 USD and the Australian dollar was lower by 1.00 cent to 0.9397 USD.

All data taken at 4:27 p.m. EDT.

By Adam Button, abutton@economicnews.ca, edited by Stephen Huebl, shuebl@economicnews.ca

(END) ©CEP Newswires - ©CEP News Ltd. 2008. All Rights Reserved. www.economicnews.ca

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