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Monday May 15, 2006 - 21:26:58 GMT
Reuters - www.reuters.com

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FOREX-Dollar gains in commods rout

FOREX-Dollar gains in commods rout
Mon May 15, 2006 4:20 PM ET

(Updates with closing prices, adds Tuesday's data outlook)

By Amanda Cooper

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) - The dollar gained broadly on Monday, staging its largest one-day rally versus the euro in a month, as a sharp fall in gold and other commodity prices gave the greenback some respite from its relentless bear trend.

Concern that a potential commodities bubble could dampen economic growth caused spot gold to take its biggest one-day fall in over six years, while an index of a basket of commodities registered its largest daily decline in almost 20 years.

But traders managed to shrug off nagging worries about the outlook for slower U.S. growth and plateauing interest rates, which saw the euro make its largest daily fall since last July.

"What we're seeing right now is all the traders focusing on commodities, you can't help but watch the price of gold collapse and then trade euro, sterling and dollar/yen accordingly," said Tim O'Sullivan, trading manager at Gain Capital in Bedminster, NJ.

"It's really going to be crucial levels that are going to have to hold for this (up) trend to continue, like the $1.2560/1.2610 area. If that were to give way, this could be a deeper downturn, but we're still focused on a lower dollar," he said.

By late afternoon in New York, the euro was down over a percent on the day to $1.2787 . The dollar was up 0.2 percent on the day against the yen at 110.35 yen .

U.S. crude futures also fell in line with the slide in other commodities as investors feared recent high prices could slow economic growth.

"Last week, commodity prices were going through the roof and markets were worried that that was going to cause the Fed to hike rates some more and kill the U.S. economy. So the commodity inflation story is being partially unwound," said Greg Anderson, senior currency strategist, at ABN AMRO in Chicago.

The Fed raised rates for the 16th time in a row last week to 5.00 percent and said it may need to raise further to curb inflation.

Aside from a brief spike lower, the dollar shrugged off data that showed a drop in overseas flows of capital.

Net flows of capital into U.S. assets fell to $69.8 billion in March, lower than analysts' expectations of $75.50 billion. But that hardly made a dent on the dollar's gains, as it was sufficient to cover the U.S. trade deficit of $62 billion for that month.

By the afternoon, the dollar's upward correction continued, and against the Swiss franc, the greenback was up well over a percent at 1.2126 francs , while sterling was down 0.8 percent at $1.8799 in its biggest one-day drop since early February.

Tuesday's currency-sensitive data calendar includes snapshots of U.S. wholesale inflation and industrial production.

(Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss)

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

 

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