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US Dollar weaker ahead of holiday

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by Elaine Frei

The US dollar was weaker ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday amid slow trade and reports that the Council of Economic Advisors, made up of President George W. Bush’s economic advisors, have lowered their forecasts for growth of the US economy. The Council said that it made its growth revisions based on weakness in the US housing market. A larger than expected rise in unemployment claims also hurt the US currency.

The greenback fell 0.7 percent to $1.2940 versus the euro and dropped 0.8 percent to $1.9140 in relation to sterling. The euro was helped by comments from the prime minister of Luxembourg, speaking before the European Parliament, that criticized recent remarks by both the president and prime minister of France that called for more input into currency issues by members nations of the Eurozone. The Luxembourg PM said that the European Central Bank should be politically independent.

The Japanese yen and the Swiss franc gained even more versus the dollar during the day Wednesday. By mid-afternoon in New York the Swiss franc had added 1 percent versus the greenback to SFr1.2275, while the yen gained 1.1 percent to ¥116.60, its highest level against the US currency in two months. The yen was also higher against the euro, adding 0.4 percent to ¥150.80.

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News posted: November 22, 2006

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