The U.S. Dollar closed sharply higher for the week, boosted
by a weaker Euro, news that China
was tightening its monetary policy and an increase in demand for lower yielding
assets. Late in the week, the Dollar flattened out after President Obama
proposed restrictions on financial institution trading. The early read is that
investors feel the proposal is Dollar negative and in the long-run may
discourage investors from buying U.S. assets.
The EUR USD was under pressure all week as concerns about Greeceâ€™s
budget deficit spiraled out of control as investors began to factor in the
possibility of a default. Matters werenâ€™t helped by the European Central Bank
and European Unionâ€™s refusal to offer any help, although a rumor late in the
week seemed to indicate that some sort of loan was going to be made available.
This matter is not expected to go away and may even escalate if similar
problems develop in Spain
The GBP USD started the week strong, but weakened late in
the week after a series of negative economic reports made investors realize
that the U.K. economy still has a long way to go to catch up to other major
nations. On Friday, it was reported that retail sales were better, but missed
The USD JPY had a volatile week before finishing sharply
lower. Early in the week, the Dollar rallied versus the Yen on better economic
news.Late in the week, however, the
Japanese Yen took off to the upside following a huge break in U.S. equities
and a shift in sentiment by investors to lower risk assets. President Obamaâ€™s
plan to curtail trading by financial institutions is likely to make lower
yielding assets more attractive to the benefit of the Yen. A rapid rise in the
Yen is likely to draw a stern comment from the Bank of Japan which favors a
The USD CHF finished the week higher, but short-term
overbought conditions could lead to a sell-off early next week. The combination
of overbought conditions and less demand for the Dollar helped to apply the selling
pressure. The Swiss Franc is especially sensitive to the Euro at this time.
Watch for a possible intervention by the Swiss National Bank if the Swiss Franc
appreciates too much versus the Euro.
The extreme sell-offs in gold, crude oil and equities helped
boost the USD CAD for the week.In
addition, the Bank of Canada voted to maintain its stimulus measures which put
additional pressure on the Canadian Dollar. The BoC also expressed its concerns
with the recent rapid rise in its currency, saying a high value would be
detrimental to the economic recovery.
Commodity currencies such as the AUD USD and NZD USD were
hit hard this week after it was reported that China asked banks to stop lending
money until the end of the year. This served as a sign that China was
preparing to implement a tighter monetary policy. Less demand from China is likely to slow down both the Australian
and New Zealand
Aussie traders adjusted prices downward in anticipation the
Reserve Bank of Australia
would leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting on February 2nd. The
Kiwi fell when it was reported that the economy was weaker than expected. This
news lessened the chance for a rate hike sooner than the late 2010 target date.
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