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Thursday October 15, 2009 - 16:49:31 GMT
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Forex Blog -Ten Reasons for Selling Dollars

Ten Reasons for Selling Dollars


1.  US officials are quite indifferent to current dollar weakness and very likely quite happy with the dollar’s decline as it will help exports and in turn fill the hole left by a rise in domestic private savings.   Cabinet Secretary (Commerce) Locke was very clear about the benefits of a weak dollar on CNBC this week -- Locke on dollar.  The White House is surely quite happy with an orderly dollar decline.

2.   Euro Zone officials at most have flashed a yellow light of caution, but the weak dollar semi is already in the intersection.  Reuters Wednesday interviewed a Eurogroup source and the official said the level now for the euro is not a concern, but continued gains would be problematic.  Today Germany’s Economic Minister said the euro is not yet at levels that are worrisome.  Trichet has yet to describe the euro rise versus the USD as brutal, something he has done in the past to signal unhappiness over the weak USD. He is repeating that US officials desire a strong dollar, but this is at most a yellow light in the intersection.

3.   Japan’s new government is not alarmed by the decline in the dollar versus the yen and insists that currency intervention is not needed and should be avoided, while Japan should focus on increasing domestic demand and reduce dependence on exports.   

4.   Reserve managers are scrambling to diversify currency reserves in the face of amassing more USD as often happens in periods of a declining dollar.  While net dollar accumulators, this group will be selling dollars into strength until the cows comes home.

5.   The Fed is so beyond dovish it is pigeonish (see Wed’s email).  The key to a dollar recovery is the Fed exiting ultra accommodation which is simply not in the cards.  Meanwhile other central banks have already tightened including the RBA, Israeli c bank and will soon be joined by the likes of Norway’s central bank.  It seems unlikely that the likes of the RBNZ and BOC can sit it out until the Fed hikes (starts exit).  The ECB and BOJ may be able to wait it out, but this is dollar weakness by association…RBA rate hike kicked off a broad USD sell-off and this effect should be repeated in November when the RBA hikes again and the Norwegian c bank tightens for the first time.

6.   US fiscal policy is quite negative for the dollar in the near- and medium-term and short of a credible effort to address deficit containment on the long-run, fiscal policy will be a major problem for the USD as far as the eye can see.

7.   Easy Fed policy is supporting risk assets and currencies and undermines the safe-haven argument for holding dollars while boosting its appeal as a funding currency.

8.   Momentum trades make a mockery of overbought indicators and should squeeze correction traders out of long dollar bets ahead.

9.   Model funds are not generating as much alpha as in the past (replication constrained) and are having reduced role in defining ranges.

10.  Commodities are the un-dollar (7-Up is the un-cola) and there is limited market depth in this “asset” class and lots of real and speculative demand.


One Reason to Buy Dollars


1.   Everyone is short.  This is a legitimate risk, but anyone trading the dollar with a long bias to capture a correction should be on a stretcher by now.  This is one of those rare markets when extreme supply and demand imbalances are sustainable…surely into year-end and perhaps through Q1.  


David Gilmore



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