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Forex Research - Weak IFO Drives Euro Off the Highs But Risk Appetite May Return

Weak IFO Drives Euro Off the Highs But Risk Appetite May Return Last Updated 11/24/2008 5:30:22 AM EST (GMT +5)

Price Action

  • USD/JPY drops to 9500 after Citi news fails to impress Asian equity markets
  • AUD/USD drops 100 points after Asian equities sell off but find support at 6270 looking to US for return of risk
  • GBP/USD generally performs best of all holding .1.4900 handle as traders look forward to Darling’s plan
  • EUR/USD gives up early gains ahead of weak IFO numbers but stabilizes and bounces post news

    Weak IFO Drives Euro Off the Highs But Risk Appetite May Return

    After staging a mild rally as a reaction to the Citi rescue package equity markets backed off their highs pulling risk currencies down with them in early European trade.The news that US government would inject $20 Billion of fresh capital into Citibank and backstop another $300 Billion of bad loans was initially received positively by the market.But on further reflection traders lost much of their enthusiasm for the deal as the realization sunk in that the massive write offs that Citi would face in the process would likely hobble the company for years to come.

    Citi therefore joins that inauspicious group of companies including AIG and GM that are effectively walking skeletons of their former selves. These companies will most likely be acquired by their healthier competitors sometime in the foreseeable once economic growth resumes. Nevertheless, irrespective of Citi’s long term economic prospects, the move today by the US government should pacify some of the risk aversion fears triggered by the possible prospect of Citibank’s failure and could provide support for stocks in the US session.

    In the meantime the EUR/USD suffered a setback early in the European trade after the weaker than expected release of the IFO numbers. The IFO printed at 85.8 versus estimates of 88.8 recording its worst reading since 1993.The economic news from the EZ also showed the Current Account deficit expanding to -10.6B from -7.4B forecast. While the data was no doubt gloomy confirming the recessionary conditions in the region, the report had little follow through impact on EUR/USD price as the pair slid for an hour ahead of the announcement with the market clearly anticipating the poor results.

    Micro economic data of course is having a minimal effect on price these days as global capital markets grapple with the much larger question of whether the world is entering into a 1930’s type of depression. With equities marked down to 1932-like levels of valuation risk aversion has certainly been the dominant theme of trade so far. However, Daniel Gross of Newsweek has put forth an interesting argument of why today’s crisis is different from that of the Great Depression.

    Specifically, Gross notes that in the 1930’s the US economy had to withstand 3 full years of do nothing Herbert Hoover administration greatly exacerbating the contractionary cycle to the levels from which it was extremely difficult to recover. Today, the US faces only 60 days of transition before a new pro-active government takes over with a possible massive stimulus injection for the economy. The intermediate term implication of Gross’s analysis is that equities should stage a rebound as a result of coming fiscal spending which should in turn benefit risk currencies, most particularly the Australian dollar as we head into the new year.

    FX Upcoming

    Currency GMT EST Release Expected Prior
    USD 15:00 10:00 USD Existing Home Sales (OCT) 5.05M 5.18M

    About The Author

    Schlossberg has more than 20 years experience financial trading on Wall Street. His daily currency research appears in numerous newspapers worldwide and Schlossberg serves as a regular contributor to CNBC's Squawk Box and Bloomberg radio and television. Read more >>

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