The Dollar tumbled to a record low against the Euro on Wednesday after comments by a Chinese official stoked fears the Central Bank of the world's fourth-largest economy would reduce its holdings of US assets.
The Dollar's decline was broad in Forex market. It tumbled to record lows against a basket of major currencies as sentiment darkened further after General Motors Corp posted its biggest quarterly loss ever. That loss, coupled with warnings of potential credit-related write-downs from major financial institutions, kept alive expectations that the Federal Reserve could cut interest rates again next month.
The Dollar also sank against the Swiss franc and the Yen as the US stock market dived almost 3%. That unnerved "carry trade" currency investors, moving them to repay low-interest loans in Swiss francs and yen used to make high-stakes foreign exchange bets. The Euro raced to an all-time high of 1.4729 before retreating to 1.4621, still up 0.41% against the Dollar on the day. UsdJpy fell 1.82% to 112.63. UsdChf fell 0.87% to 1.1342, recovering from intraday 1.1358 low.
The next big Euro move could hinge on European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet's news conference on Thursday following the bank's monetary policy meeting, at which the ECB is widely expected to hold its benchmark interest rate at 4%. Forex investors will closely look at any hawkish signal from Trichet, which may renew rally of the Euro.
The Euro jumped to its peak early on Wednesday soon after a Chinese central banker said the dollar was losing its major global currency status and a top lawmaker said China should balance the make-up of its $1.43 trillion foreign reserves to take advantage of appreciating currencies. Another major gainer was the British pound ahead of today's Bank of England monetary policy committee meeting, which is expected to keep interest rates at a six-year high. GbpUsd jumped to a 26-year high of 2.1071. It last traded at 2.1867 up 0.59%.
The divergent paths of interest rate policy in the United States and Europe are the prime drivers of Dollar weakness. Since September, the Fed has cut benchmark rates by three-quarters of a percentage point to 4.5%, while the ECB and BoE have held rates steady after hiking them earlier in the year. Higher interest rates are a magnet for inflows to higher-yielding deposits, favoring high-rate currencies.