Finance Markets

June 2, 2006

Dollar weaker as euro strengthens

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

Substantially lower than expected employment data in the United States on Friday resulted in a weakened dollar as it became less likely that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again in June. While unemployment declined to 4.6 percent in May, only 75,000 jobs were created during the month.

The greenback dropped 0.8 percent to $1.2922 versus the euro, which brought the US currency’s decline against the shared currency to 1.6 percent for the week. The dollar was also down 0.8 percent in relation to the Japanese yen, to ¥111.47, a drop on the week of 1 percent. The greenback declined 0.9 percent for the day and 1.6 percent on the week against sterling, to $1.8844.

The euro, meanwhile, achieved four-week highs in relation to both sterling and the Swiss franc, trading at £0.6882 versus sterling and at SFr1.5654 versus the Swissie, as a few analysts have come to believe that the European Central Bank might raise Eurozone interest rates by as much as 50 basis points at their next meeting. Most analysts, however, still expect only a 25 basis point hike.

Elsewhere, the Norwegian krone added 0.6 percent in relation to the euro during the week, to NKr7.7809, after interest rates in Norway were raised to 2.75 percent on Wednesday. The Swedish krona, meanwhile, gained 0.8 percent on the shared currency, to SKr9.2213.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: Dollar weaker as euro strengthens


June 1, 2006

US dollar strengthens slightly

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar was a bit stronger on Thursday, but it had been stronger still before some data hinted that concerns about inflation were at least partly misplaced. The Institute of Supply Management’s May survey had US factory activity at 54.4, lower than the 55.5 reading that had been expected. In addition, unit labor costs for the first quarter came in at a 1.6 percent gain, year-on-year. This was lower than the 2.5 percent rise reported last month and lower than the gain of 1.9 percent that had been expected.

Still, with the release of the minutes from the US Federal Reserve meeting in May showing that the Open Market Committee had considered lifting interest rates by 50 basis points at that time, most analysts now expect another rate hike this month. US interest rate hikes have been coming in 25 basis point increments since the current cycle of increases began.

All this news combined to give the greenback a gain of 0.2 percent to $1.2821 versus the euro and sent it 0.3 percent higher in relation to the Japanese yen, to ¥112.43.

The dollar’s gains against the euro were reduced when the Eurozone purchasing managers’ index came in at 57 in May, up from 56.7 the previous month when a decline to 56.5 had been expected by most analysts. It is taken as a given that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates there in June, but analysts are split on whether the hike will be by 50 basis points or by only 25 bp.

The euro added 0.1 percent against the yen to ¥144.16, but it lost 0.1 percent to sterling, to £0.686.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar strengthens slightly


May 24, 2006

US dollar strengthens on homes data

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar strengthened on Wednesday, riding a roller coaster as new data was released. There were declines on the news that US durable goods orders had grown as much as had been hoped, but higher than expected new home sales sent the dollar back up.

By mid-session in New York, the greenback had gained 0.3 percent versus the euro to $1.2780, while it added 0.6 percent in relation to the Swiss franc to SFr1.2150 and was up 0.7 percent against the Japanese yen to ¥112.67.

In Europe, the Ifo business climate survey dropped to 105.6 in May, down from 105.9 in April. Still, it was higher than the 105.3 that had been predicted for May. Analysts felt that this outcome hinted that industrial production will see further growth in the region.

The new data saw the euro gain 0.3 percent versus the Swiss franc to SFr1.5530, while the shared currency added 0.4 percent in relation to the yen to ¥144.03.

Sterling was lower on the day after the CBI industrial trends survey showed that manufacturer sentiment had declined. The British currency dropped 0.2 percent versus the euro to £0.6835 while it lost 0.5 percent to the US dollar to $1.8710.

Meanwhile, some emerging currencies were hurt by new concerns over the possible spread of bird flu. The South Korean won dropped 0.7 percent to Won 950.00 versus the US dollar, while the Indonesian rupiah declined by 1.1 percent to Rp9,360 and the Turkish lira lost 3.5 percent to TL1,5450, the lowest it has been in two years.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar strengthens on homes data


May 23, 2006

US dollar stronger against major currencies

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

After Standard & Poor’s upgraded its outlook on Japan’s economy, citing an improved fiscal position and positive signs for private sector restructuring, the yen strengthened on Tuesday. Also helping the yen were remarks on interest rates from the governor of the Bank of Japan. It was said that these comments were likely meant to signal an end to the zero interest rate while assuring that no drastic changes in policy are planned for the moment.

The yen was 0.2 percent higher against the US dollar to ¥111.30 by midday in New York. The Japanese currency had added 0.5 percent each versus the euro and sterling, to ¥142.90 and ¥209.30 respectively.

The US dollar was also slightly stronger in the absence of any significant new economic data. Even so, a number of analysts are still saying that the greenback’s general trend is toward further weakness. Not all analysts agree with this scenario, however. The dollar added 0.3 percent to $1.2840 in relation to the euro. In addition, the US currency was up 0.3 percent versus sterling as well, to $1.8810, and it gained 0.5 percent on the Swiss france to SFr1.2095.

Some emerging market currencies, however, saw gains on the day against the greenback. The Turkish lira added 1.9 percent to TL1.4935 versus the dollar, while the Indonesian rupiah was up 1 percent to Rp9,250 and the South Korean won gained 0.9 percent to Won 943.50 to the dollar.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar stronger against major currencies


May 22, 2006

“Safe” Swiss franc strengthens

Filed under: Forex, USD, Euro, Economy, Yen

In currency markets on Monday, the Swiss franc once again lived up to its reputation as a safe investment in times of financial uncertainty as investors tried to lessen their exposure to risk. Meanwhile, the US dollar weakened again as analysts were divided on whether the greenback would continue to weaken or if it would rather begin to strengthen again on problems with the euro and yen.

The US dollar dropped 0.8 percent versus the Swiss franc to SFr1.2063, and it lost 0.5 percent to the euro to $1.2837. Meanwhile, the Swiss franc added 0.4 percent in relation to the euro to SFr1.5484.

The Japanese yen was also weaker on Monday when new gross domestic product data and uncertain signals from the Bank of Japan on what it intends to do about interest rates did nothing to reverse the trend of investors to sell the yen.

The Japanese currency dropped 0.6 percent to ¥143.54 versus the euro, and it lost 0.2 percent to the US dollar to ¥111.80.

Declines in equities markets in Asia did not help currencies in the region. The Indonesian rupiah dropped 1.3 percent to Rp9,310 versus the greenback, while the Thai baht dropped 1 percent to Bt38.40 and the South Korean won lost 0.7 percent to Won 952.20. The Australian dollar dropped 1.1 percent to its US counterpart, to $0.7500. The South African rand declined as well, losing 0.5 percent to R6.6000 to the US dollar.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: “Safe” Swiss franc strengthens


May 18, 2006

US dollar weakens without clues from Bernanke

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar weakened again on Thursday after investors were disappointed by the remarks of Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, in a speech at the Federal Reserve in Chicago. They had been hoping that he might give some hint about what the Fed will do about interest rates in June. One analyst said that the stated policy of the Fed under Bernanke that it would take economic data into consideration meant that there would be no indications of what the Fed would do until all the data for the month is in.

At mid-session in New York, the dollar had declined by 0.6 percent to $1.2810 in relation to the euro, while it dropped 0.4 percent versus both the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc, to ¥110.55 and SFr1.2105 respectively.

Emerging currencies, however, were generally weaker against the greenback. The South Korean won was 1.1 percent lower versus the US currency. The Philippine peso was 1 percent lower, the Malaysian ringit declined by 0.8 percent, and the Indonesian rupiah dropped almost 4 percent to Rp9,320 in relation to the US dollar.

Sterling was stronger against the dollar, gaining 0.4 percent to $1.8880 as UK retail sales were higher in April than had been predicted. However, the UK currency was flat versus the euro at £0.6769.

The Icelandic crown was 0.9 percent lower in relation to the euro to IKr91.30 even though Iceland’s central bank hiked interest rates to 12.25 percent, a gain of 75 basis points.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar weakens without clues from Bernanke


May 17, 2006

US dollar gains on euro

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar was a bit stronger on Wednesday after France’s Finance Minister made comments indicating that he did not think it wise for the euro to strengthen any further than it already has. Analysts were of the opinion that the remarks might be the opening salvo in an attempt to reduce the strength of the single currency, especially in light of comments from an official of the European Central Bank that there is no real reason for the euro to be strengthening. However, most analysts believe that the dollar will remain in a general trend of weakening despite the day’s gains.

The dollar was 0.6 percent higher versus the euro at mid-session in New York, at $1.2784. The greenback remained unchanged, however, in relation to the Japanese yen, standing at ¥109.70, lending credence to the theory that the dollar is not ready to start strengthening significantly at the present time. The South Korean won strengthened by 0.9 percent to Won 936.80 versus the US dollar, while the Taiwanese dollar added 0.1 percent to T$31.56 against the greenback.

Meanwhile, sterling strengthened in relation to the euro, gaining 0.4 percent to £0.6780, while it lost 0.1 percent to the US dollar late in the day to $1.8880. Earlier in the day, sterling hit a one-year high of $1.9025 versus the greenback when the minutes from May’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting were released, revealing that one member of the committee had voted to raise interest rates in the UK. In addition, one member voted to cut the rate and the remaining six members voted to keep rates at the current rate.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar gains on euro


May 16, 2006

US dollar weaker after Monday’s gains

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar was down again on Tuesday after a day of gains on Monday. The declines came on reports that housing starts in the United States were down more than had been predicted. Producer price data was also under expectations. Both items convinced analysts that there is a good chance that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates at its next meeting.

By the middle of the trading day in New York, the greenback had lost 0.5 percent in relation to the euro to $1.2853. The US currency was also down 0.4 percent to ¥110.05 against the Japanese yen and it declined by 0.3 percent to $1.8855 versus sterling.

The euro was otherwise quiet, holding about steady at ¥141.42 against the yen and at £0.6811in relation to sterling. The shared currency did add 0.1 percent to SFr1.5523 versus the Swiss franc. The euro held its own despite a drop in the ZEW index of economic expectations in Germany. The index was at 50 in May, down from 62.7 in April. The declines were blamed on higher oil prices and a stronger euro. Also a factor were comments from a European Central Bank official who said that the G7 did not endorse a change in the exchange rate between the euro and the US dollar at its meeting last month.

Emerging currencies did better on Tuesday than they did Monday. The Turkish lira added 3.3 percent to TL1.4355 in relation to the US dollar, gaining back more than half its 6.1 percent slide on Monday. The South African rand got back a third of its 3 percent drop on Monday, rising 1.1 percent to R6.3550 versus the US currency.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar weaker after Monday’s gains


May 15, 2006

US dollar strengthens; yen still up

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar strengthened Monday despite new capital inflows data showing that March inflows were at $69.8 billion, lower than had been predicted. Gains came as investors exited short positions not only against the dollar but against a number of other currencies as well.

At mid-afternoon in New York, the greenback had gained 0.7 percent to $1.2840 versus the euro. The US currency also was up 0.5 percent against sterling, to $1.8840, while it added 0.8 percent to SFr1.2080 in relation to the Swiss franc and advanced 0.4 percent to C$1.1124 versus the Canadian dollar.

The Japanese yen also strengthened on the day. While it dropped 0.1 percent to ¥110.16 in relation to the US dollar, it was up 0.7 percent against the euro to ¥141.38, gained 0.4 percent to ¥207.45 versus sterling, and added 0.9 percent to ¥84.18 in relation to the Australian dollar.

Emerging currencies were mostly lower in relation to the greenback. The only notable exception was the Chinese renminbi, which closed at Rmb8.0030, its highest position against the US dollar in more than 12 years. Elsewhere, the Turkish lira dropped 6.1 percent to TL1,4850 versus the greenback, the South African rand was down 3 percent against the dollar to R6.4255, and the South Korean won fell 1.1 percent to Won 943.40 in relation to the US currency. The Australian and New Zealand dollars were down 1 percent and 1.3 percent respectively against the greenback, to $0.7644 and $0.6215.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar strengthens; yen still up


May 11, 2006

US dollar rally fizzles

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar tried to stage a rally on Thursday after the US Treasury declined to label China as a “currency manipulator” in its semi-annual foreign exchange report and after the Federal Reserve raised the interest rates another 25 basis points to 5 percent, but the rally fizzled out after new data on retail sales in the US showed a gain of only 0.5 percent in April overall, and an even lower 0.1 percent rise when gasoline sales were taken out of the equation.

After an initial gain of 0.9 percent in relation to the euro and the Japanese yen, by mid-afternoon in New York the greenback had lost 0.1 percent to the yen, to ¥110.47. In addition, the euro had recovered to gain 0.2 percent versus the dollar to $1.2823.

The euro benefited from better than expected economic growth in the Eurozone. The economy in the Eurozone expanded by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of the year. Additionally, analysts said that predictions for the growth of the gross domestic product in the region would likely be revised upward, a move that would probably induce the European Central Bank to increase interest rates to 3.5 percent by the end of the year.

Sterling was stronger on the day, based on new data that showed industrial and manufacturing output in the UK each up by 0.7 percent month-on-month in March, much better than the 0.2 percent increases that had been expected. The UK currency added 0.9 percent in relation to the US dollar, to $1.8794. Sterling was up 0.7 percent to ¥207.61 versus the yen, gained 0.6 percent to £0.6823 in relation to the euro, and added 0.5 percent to SFr2.2836 against the Swiss franc.

In the Middle East, Kuwait revalued the dinar up 1 percent to KD0.2891 to the dollar. Analyst opinion was that the increase, the first in almost a year and a half, would probably force other oil exporting nations, such as Saudi Arabia, to do the same.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar rally fizzles


May 10, 2006

US Dollar down ahead of Fed decision

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar weakened further on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise interest rates again, this time to 5 percent, as well as in anticipation of comments that might give a hint about whether there might be a pause in the series of rate raises in June. Investors were still nervous, as well, about a US Treasury report due later in the day that some say could label China as a “currency manipulator”. Even if this does not happen, triggering Asian currencies to advance against the greenback, comments from Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein that the dollar might need to weaken a further 30 to 40 percent in order to bring the US trade deficit down were worrying to investors.

By the middle of the day in New York the US dollar had dropped 0.3 percent to $1.2792 versus the euro. The greenback was also down by 0.5 percent against the Japanese yen to ¥110.55 and it dropped 0.1 percent to SFr1.2192 in relation to the Swiss franc. The US currency hit yet another new 28-year low of C$1.0980 versus the Canadian dollar. The only major currency that the dollar did not weaken against was sterling, which was down just a bit to $1.8650.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US Dollar down ahead of Fed decision


May 9, 2006

US dollar weaker again

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar was down again on Tuesday in an unexpected sell-off that analysts said had no obvious reason behind it. It was expected that there would be few fireworks the day before the Federal Reserve is set to make a decision on interest rates and ahead of a report from the US Treasury that could call China a “currency manipulator”. Several theories emerged to explain the sell-off, including a plan by the G7 to let the dollar weaken to ease imbalances and a delayed reaction to a report that Iran is considering setting up a market to trade oil in euros.

The greenback dropped 0.5 percent to $1.2754 in relation to the euro. It lost 0.4 percent versus the Japanese yen and sterling, to ¥111.27 and $1.8644 respectively. In addition, the US currency was down 0.6 percent to SFr1.2214 in relation to the Swiss franc and dropped 1 percent to a 28-year low of C$1.1014 versus the Canadian dollar.

According to reports, opinion was mixed on whether the upcoming Treasury report would actually go so far as to name China as a currency manipulator, but the majority seems to be coming around to the consensus that it will not. If the report does label China in this way, some analysts say that the dollar will likely weaken even more than it already has, while Asian currencies will strengthen. In this scenario, the euro and the Swiss franc could benefit.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar weaker again


May 8, 2006

US dollar weaker against Asian currencies

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

After last week’s holiday, the Japanese yen was helped out on Monday by the perception that the US and Japan are at odds over currency issues as well as by the first increase in land prices in Japan in fifteen years and by comments from the governor of the Bank of Japan that his nation’s economy was “completely on track”.

All of this combined to lift the yen 0.9 percent to ¥111.53 versus the US dollar. The Japanese currency also added 0.9 percent in relation to the euro and sterling, to ¥141.89 and ¥207.29 respectively. The yen added 1.3 percent to ¥85.82 against the Australian dollar.

The yen was not the only Asian currency to advance in relation to the greenback on Monday. The South Korean Won was up 1.3 percent to Won 929.2 versus the US dollar, while the Malaysian ringgit gained 0.4 percent to M$3.592 and the Singapore dollar added 0.2 percent to S$1.5668 versus the US currency. The Taiwan dollar was up in relation to the US dollar as well, to T$31.367 and the Indonesian rupiah gained 0.5 percent to Rp8,730 versus the greenback.

Meanwhile, while the US dollar was down in relation to European currencies early in the day, it was back up to previous levels, sitting at $1.2723 versus the euro, $1.8589 against sterling, and SFr1.2270 in relation to the Swiss franc. The US currency was up 0.5 percent to C$1.1114 versus the Canadian dollar.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar weaker against Asian currencies


May 4, 2006

Euro stronger on ECB comments

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

Comments from the president of the European Central Bank on Thursday after the Bank’s decision to maintain interest rates at 2.5 percent for the time being were interpreted to mean that the Bank will hike interest rates at its June meeting. These comments showed little concern for the current strength of the euro and led to further gains in the shared currency.

The European currency added 0.4 percent to $1.2675 versus the US dollar and was up 0.2 percent to ¥143.90 in relation to the Japanese yen. The euro was at £0.6861 against sterling after having dropped to £0.6836 earlier in the session on the release of strong economic data out of the UK.

The shared currency was a bit weaker, however, versus the Swiss franc at SFr1.5602. The Swissie was also up 0.4 percent to SFr1.2313 in relation to the US dollar and added 0.3 percent to ¥92.21 against the yen.

The US dollar continued to weaken. Besides its losses to the euro and Swiss franc, the greenback was also 0.3 percent lower versus sterling to $1.8470 and it lost 0.1 percent to $0.7711 in relation to the Australian dollar. The US dollar is at an eight-month low versus the Aussie and at year-long lows in relation to sterling and the Swiss franc.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: Euro stronger on ECB comments


May 3, 2006

Australian dollar up on interest rate hike

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

An unexpected hike in interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Australia sent the Australian dollar in relation to the US dollar on Wednesday. The Bank raised the rate to 5.75 percent, a gain of 25 basis points and its highest level in six years, citing inflationary pressures, especially due to rising prices for commodities, as the reason for its action. Inflation in Australia is currently at 3 percent, the top of the acceptable range for the Bank.

The rate hike sent the Aussie up 1.4 percent to $0.7715 versus the US dollar, also up 1.4 percent against the Japanese yen to ¥87.42, and 1 percent higher in relation to sterling, to A$2.3929.

Meanwhile, in the US, even though the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index was up in April and data showed that factory orders were up in March, the greenback was weaker at mid-session in New York. The dollar dropped 0.2 percent to $1.2637 versus the euro and was down 0.3 percent to $1.8443 in relation to sterling. The US currency remained flat versus the yen at ¥113.41.

In Asia, the South Korean won, the Singapore dollar, and the Malaysian ringgit were all up to their highest levels versus the US dollar since the 1997-1998 Asian crisis. The won rose 0.6 percent to Won934 to the US dollar, the Singapore dollar added 0.3 percent to S$1.5720, and the ringgit sat at M$2.6080. The Taiwan dollar was also up in relation to the greenback, to T$31.574.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: Australian dollar up on interest rate hike


May 2, 2006

Euro, sterling strengthen

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar was down on Tuesday after new economic data from the UK and the Eurozone provided boosts for the currencies of those nations.

In the UK the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index was up to 54.1 in April after being at 51 in March. The new figure is the highest level the index has reached since November 2004. In addition, mortgage approvals in the UK were at their highest level since June 2004, according to the British Bankers’ Association. The new data, some analysts said, made it less likely that the Bank of England will cut interest rates during the summer and instead might actually spur a rate hike. On the news, sterling added 0.2 percent to £0.6874 in relation to the euro and was up 0.7 percent to ¥208.38 versus the Japanese yen.

The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index in the Eurozone was also up, to 56.7 in April from 56.1 in March, the highest it has been since September 2000. The euro was up 0.4 percent in relation to the yen, to ¥143.26.

The greenback, meanwhile, was down 0.6 percent to $1.2647 versus the euro, lost 0.8 percent to $1.84 in relation to sterling, and dropped 0.2 percent to ¥113.22 versus the yen. The US currency also lost 0.6 percent to C$1.1073 against the Canadian dollar, which was helped by the possibility of future interest rate hikes and rising prices for gold and crude oil.

Elsewhere in the world, the Australian dollar gained 0.6 percent to $0.7626 versus the US dollar and the South Korean won added 0.2 percent against the greenback to Won939.60, an eight-year high.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: Euro, sterling strengthen


May 1, 2006

Dollar weaker on deficit worries

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

With most foreign exchange markets closed for the May Day holiday - the major exceptions being the United States and Japan - the US dollar hit a year-long low in relation to the euro and was a low as it has been in seven months against the Japanese yen. Problems besetting the dollar include concerns over the huge budget and fiscal deficits in the US and the ongoing dispute with Iran over its nuclear program. The declines in the dollar came as investors were waiting for the release of new data on inflation, manufacturing, and personal income and spending in the United States.

The yen surged due to buying by foreign hedge funds and investment banks, adding 1 percent to ¥113.10 in relation to the US dollar. The euro gained 0.2 percent on the greenback, to $1.2626. Sterling was 0.5 percent higher versus the US dollar to $1.8269, while the Swiss franc was up by 0.4 percent against the dollar and the Canadian dollar was up 0.3 percent versus its US counterpart, to a 28-year high.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: Dollar weaker on deficit worries


April 26, 2006

US dollar weaker despite data

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

Strong new economic data in the United States on Wednesday did not help the dollar in its slide against the euro. The dollar was weaker not only in relation to the shared currency, but versus the Japanese yen and sterling as well.

Among the new data reported on the day was a hike in durable goods orders of 6.1 percent in March, when only a 1.8 percent increase had been anticipated. Aircraft orders played a big role in the size of the increase, but even without that component the core reading was up 3 percent. In addition, new home sales were up in March, giving lie to the idea that the housing market was beginning to slow down. Another aspect of the dollars weakness, according to some analysts, was investor hesitation to move ahead of the day’s scheduled testimony before Congress by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

At any rate, the dollar dropped 0.3 percent in relation to the euro, to $1.2462, while it dropped a fraction to ¥114.66 versus the yen and to $1.7893 against sterling.

Sterling, however, was lower in relation to the euro, dropping 0.2 percent to £0.6965.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was up 1.1 percent to $0.7537 versus the greenback as consumer prices down under were up 3 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, spurring talk of more tightening of monetary policy. The Canadian dollar also gained strength versus the US dollar, adding 0.3 percent to C$1.1273 on data showing labor productivity in Canada up by 2.2 percent last year.

In Asia, the Chinese renminbi was slightly weaker versus the US dollar at Rmb8.0175 and the South Korean won was also slightly down in relation to the greenback to Won946.2 to the dollar. These declines were said by some analysts to have to do with Asian resistance to G7 calls for more flexibility in Asian currencies.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar weaker despite data


April 20, 2006

US dollar strengthens on profit-taking

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar strengthened on Thursday after three days of losses, but the gains were explained by profit taking by most analysts, rather than any real shift in sentiment. The gains came even though the Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators showed weakening due to rising energy prices.

The greenback added 0.4 percent versus the euro to $1.2321, while it was up 0.3 percent to ¥117.56 in relation to the Japanese yen and it gained 0.7 percent against sterling, to $1.7795. In addition, the US dollar was up 1.3 percent versus both the Australian and New Zealand dollars, to $0.7371 and $0.6261 respectively. The US currency also added 2 percent to $6.06 in relation to the South African rand.

In the UK, meanwhile, sterling was weakened by new data showing that inflation was at its lowest in a year. Consumer prices were up only 1.8 percent in March, lower than its 2 percent rise in February. Core inflation was up 1.3 percent. In light of the new reports, analysts again said that they expect the Bank of England to cut interest rates at least twice before the end of the year.

Sterling was down 0.3 percent in relation to the euro, to £0.6924 and it lost 0.5 percent to ¥209.22 against the yen.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: US dollar strengthens on profit-taking


April 18, 2006

Dollar mixed ahead of Fed minutes

Filed under: Forex, USD, GBP, Euro, Economy, Yen

The US dollar was slightly stronger in relation to the euro and the yen on Tuesday, but it weakened against sterling as investors awaited the release of minutes from the most recent meeting of the US Federal Reserve. Help for the dollar was found in new core producer price index data, which does not take into account food and energy costs. The index was up only 0.1 percent in March, less than had been anticipated. Other new economic data included news that housing starts were down 7.8 percent in March.

The greenback gained 0.1 percent on the euro and it was also up 0.1 percent to ¥117.7. However, the dollar dropped 0.2 percent to $1.7762 versus sterling, the lowest level since February.

The strength of the Swiss franc was mixed as well. World events helped it add 0.1 percent against the US dollar, to SFr1.2759, the highest it has been in three months. However it dropped by 0.1 percent versus sterling, to SFr2.2662.

Another currency with mixed fortunes on the day was the euro. Sterling gained 0.3 percent on the shared currency to £0.6909, but the Japanese yen was slightly weaker versus the euro at ¥144.47.

So far this week, both the Australian and New Zealand dollars have gained on the US dollar. The Aussie has advanced by 1.7 percent to $0.7383 against the greenback, while the Kiwi has added 1.4 percent to $0.6272.

The Mexican peso has also advanced on the US dollar ahead of the upcoming presidential election in Mexico, where Mexico City’s mayor holds a 38 percent to 34 percent lead over the conservative ruling party candidate in the latest polls. The peso added 0.9 percent to 10.9825 pesos to the dollar.

>> Discuss this on the new Finance Markets messageboards

Permalink: Dollar mixed ahead of Fed minutes


« Previous PageNext Page »