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Tuesday June 1, 2010 - 15:07:18 GMT
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U.S. Dollar Rising amid Euro Zone Uncertainty

The U.S. Dollar is trading higher this morning as uncertainty in the Euro Zone is driving investors into the safety of the Greenback.

 

The Euro is under pressure on two fronts. First, the surprise resignation by German President Hoerst Koehler has once again raised concerns about the political instability developing because of the economic conditions in the Euro Zone. Secondly, investors are also worried over the outlook for the Euro Zone banking sector amid fears of further sovereign downgrades by major ratings agencies.

 

On Monday, Koehler announced his resignation after public sentiment turned against him following negative remarks he made about Germany’s military mission in Afghanistan. Koehler’s resignation contributes to the on-going uncertainty in Germany amid the domestic economic challenges facing the nation because of the sovereign debt issues in Greece, Spain and Portugal. Traders have reacted to this uncertainty like they have been for several months by selling the Euro. Once again control of the Euro is squarely in the hands of the bearish hedge funds and large institutions.

 

News that France is facing a possible downgrade of its AAA credit rating is also putting pressure on the Euro. Over the week-end French Budget Minister Francois Baroin brought attention upon the developing situation in his country when he said “The objective is challenging and it will in part condition the savings strategies that we want to have.”  His statement basically says that he is worried about the challenges his country has in maintaining its Triple-A rating. The market reacted to his statement by driving up the cost of insuring French government debt against default.

 

Credit default swap spreads also increased for Greece, Portugal and Ireland, indicating that sovereign debt issues are still a major concern for Euro Zone investors despite the injection of nearly $1 trillion into the economy.

 

Risk aversion is triggering sell-offs in commodity-linked currencies led by hard sell-offs in the Australian and New Zealand Dollars. The Aussie is currently testing 50% of its recent short-term range of .8067 to .8550. This price is .8308.  The Kiwi’s short-term range is .6560 to .6862. This range creates a retracement zone at .6706 to .6669.

 

The USD CAD is rallying this morning led by the weakness in crude oil and equity markets. Support is coming from inside a retracement zone at 1.0481 to 1.0394. The charts indicate the next upside objective is 1.0633. This area is likely to be tested should panic selling hit the crude oil and stock markets. Gains could be limited if the Bank of Canada hints at a July rate hike.

 

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