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By: Barbara Zigah Unexpectedly weak data from the U.K.’s manufacturing sector pushes back the likelihood of an interest rate hike sending the Pound Sterling broadly lower in Asian trading. As reported at 2:34 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the Pound Sterling traded lower against the safe haven Swiss Franc at 1.4180, a decline of 1.5%. Against the U.S. Dollar, the Pound posted its largest single day drop in more than three months, falling to $1.4646 before rebounding to $1.6480. The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee meets tomorrow, with the discussion likely revolving around an interest rate hike; most analysts agree that an increase is not in the works at this time.

The European Central Bank, on the other hand, is expected by some to signal the next interest rate hike at its rate setting meeting scheduled for tomorrow. Some analysts point out, however, that recent comments from ECB officials suggest that the central bank would prefer to take a wait-and-see stance, fearful that a hike could do more harm to fiscally troubled peripheral states. The Euro was trading against the U.S. Dollar at $1.4826, only slightly off the $1.4902 17-month peak struck on Monday. Since February, the Euro has gained nearly 11% on the greenback, with divergent rate expectations from the respective central banks underpinning sentiment.

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/05/Pound-Sterling-Drops-as-Interest-Rate-Hike-Expectations-Fade/7821
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By: Barbara Zigah With commodity prices beginning to stabilize, the Euro has been holding tight to recent gains during Asian trade. Some traders expect the Euro to come under renewed pressure, however, if and when more negative news on the Eurozone’s escalating fiscal troubles arrives. As reported at 2:00 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the Euro was slightly lower against the U.S. Dollar, trading at $1.4392, a decline of 0.1% in the day’s trading but well off the low of $1.4254 struck Monday.

The release earlier of Chinese data on retail sales and industrial production, both below analysts’ expectations, pushed risk sensitive currencies lower, with the Australian Dollar and the Euro falling briefly before recovering. That recovery bolstered the Aussie, which was trading at $1.0860 against the greenback, a rise of 0.2% during the trading session.

The Euro did receive some support yesterday when the media reported that another bailout plan for Greece was in the works; while the government denied the claim, most investors recognize that the options available to Greece are limited and a new aid package is the lesser of all evils, considering that other options include debt restructuring or the exit from the Eurozone which many believe could be devastating for the Eurozone economy in the long run.

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/05/Euro-Holds-Onto-Gains-as-Commodities-Steady/7869
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By: Barbara Zigah With the euphoria over the news of the al-Qaeda leader’s death now beginning to wane, the U.S. Dollar is hovering close to the 3-year low struck last week. As reported at 2:27 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the U.S. Dollar Index was at 73.153 .DXY, up .28%, yet just off the 72.722 .DXY low struck last week in New York. Analysts insist that, given the ultra-loose monetary policy of the U.S. Federal Reserve, it’s only a matter of time before the Index breaches the all-time low of 70.698 .DXY, which was established in March 2008.

The Australian Dollar, considered a high risk currency, has become popular among investors who recently helped send the Aussie higher against the U.S. Dollar to $1.1011, the highest price in 29 years. In earlier Asian trading today, the Aussie edged lower to $1.0929, as market players await the outcome of the RBA’s policy setting meeting. Most analysts agree that the central bank will leave rates unchanged, but will closely scrutinize the tone of the announcement for a key to likely direction given last week’s inflation report, which was higher than expected. If the RBA sounds hawkish on inflationary pressures, analysts say the barrier of $1.11 is likely to fall. 

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/05/USD-Index-Slightly-Higher-even-as-bin-Laden-Euphoria-Wanes/7812
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By: Barbara Zigah In early trading in Tokyo, the common currency edged higher against the U.S. Dollar, off a 3-week low, supported by early indications of some restabilization in the commodities markets. Analysts note, however, that Greek fiscal problems will continue to put pressure on the Euro until a path to resolution is clear, and unwinding of long positions in EUR/USD are likely in the short term as more negative news surfaces. As reported at 9:50 a.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the Euro was trading at $1.4368 against the U.S. Dollar; yesterday it had slipped to a low of $1.4254. Major support is seen at $1.4246.

Yesterday, the Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency cut Greece’s rating again, dropping it from BB- to B, essentially considered junk status. S&P further noted that it was likely that Greece’s debt burden was unsustainable without a debt haircut. In spite of last year’s bailout, Greece’s economy continues to struggle out of a deep recession, and speculation is swirling that even a new, more favorable rescue package will be unlikely to help.

On a positive note, analysts don’t believe that the Greek fiscal tragedy will have the same detrimental effect on the Euro as it did last year, given that a safety net is now available to heavily indebted countries in the Eurozone.

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/05/Euro-Edges-Higher-But-Pressure-Still-Seen-from-Greece/7864
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By: Barbara Zigah Ahead of today’s meeting of the European Central Bank’s rate setting committee, the common currency Euro has been rising toward a 17-month peak against the U.S. Dollar in Asian trade. Investors continue to speculate that the divergent policies of the ECB and the Federal Reserve Bank will benefit the Euro, though some analysts believe that recent comments from ECB officials suggest that further tightening may be in the distance. Too, today’s rise in the Euro snaps a 2-day drop against the Japanese Yen.

As reported at 2:00 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the Euro traded against the greenback at $1.4860, up from $1.4827 traded in New York late yesterday; it approached $1.4940 at one point, the highest price since late 2009. Against the Japanese Yen, the Euro traded at 119.44 Yen, up from 119.55 Yen.

What is expected at today’s ECB meeting is that Jean-Claude Trichet, the ECB President, will once again highlight the risks of inflation and its links to energy, commodity and food prices. It is further expected that he will discuss exactly how quickly the ECB is willing to raise interest rates to combat inflationary pressures at the risk of putting further pressure on the Eurozone’s fiscally troubled states.

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/05/Euro-Moves-Higher-Ahead-of-ECB-Policy-Meeting/7835
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By: Barbara Zigah Following yesterday’s press conference held by Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, who fielded questions on the likely direction of the U.S. economy, the U.S. Dollar slipped to new multi-year lows against major currencies. As reported at 2:47 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback’s strength against other major currencies, slipped to a 3-year trough of 72.871 .DXY before easing higher to 72.972 .DXY, a decline of 0.7% in the day’s trading.

With the divergence of the U.S. central bank’s monetary policy from most other central banks clearly being seen, the U.S. currency has no where else to go but down. Against the Euro, analysts say the greenback is targeting $1.50; in today’s Asian trading the greenback fell to a new 17-month low of $1.4882 on the EBS trading platform before easing back to $1.4858. Likewise, the U.S. Dollar fell against the Australian Dollar, touching on new record lows; analysts see $1.10 as a likely near target.

The Fed Chairman’s historic first press conference apparently was intended to lay the framework for further easing measures by the central bank. The current quantitative easing scheme is scheduled to end in June, and some analysts believe that a third round of bond purchases is likely given that the U.S. economy has not significantly improved.

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/04/Fallout-from-Fed-Press-Conference-US-Dollar-Slips-Lower/7787
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Euro Rebounds after 3-Week Low

Posted by admin On 11:41 AM 0 comments
By: Barbara Zigah Following last week’s steep fall, the common currency Euro bounced in early Asian trading, rising against the U.S. Dollar and Japanese Yen. As reported at 2:25 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the Euro gained 0.3% against the greenback to trade at $1.463; late last week, the Euro lost 3.3% and struck a 3-week trough of $1.4310 following unsubstantiated rumors that Greek was considering a pullout from the Eurozone. Versus the Japanese Yen, the Euro traded at 116.20 Yen, an increase of 0.7%; last week it struck a 5-week low against the Japanese currency, trading at 115.23 Yen.

One trader in Japan said that the Greek rumor triggered the Euro’s decline, but that long Euro positioning is still what is driving the market. That was confirmed by the U.S. CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Comm.) which released data that showed that long position contracts in the common currency rose to its highest level in nearly four years to 99,516 contracts, a significant increase from the previous week’s 68,279 contracts.

Whether or not the Euro’s decline will continue is unclear; the common currency recently fell below a key support level. The ongoing crises there continue to put pressure on the Euro and the recent Greek rumor will likely be investigated further to determine its credibility. 

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/05/Euro-Rebounds-after-3-Week-Low/7854
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By: Barbara Zigah Yesterday’s death of Osama bin Laden is making international headlines, as analysts focus on how it will affect everything from the U.S. army presence in the region to Obama’s popularity in the polls. But when it comes to Forex trading, the only question to ask is how the death of Osama bin Laden will affect the value of the U.S. Dollar. A quick look at how the currency fluctuated when Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003 should be indicative of what we can expect to see from the floundering U.S. Dollar in light of bin Laden’s death.

In retrospect, it's easy to notice that in December of 2003 when President George Bush announced the terrorist’s capture, both the Dow and the S&P rallied, indicating a strengthening of the Dollar.  This rally was relativel short-lived, however, as the currency began to decline again only a few weeks later. The takeaway from this incident should not be ignored.

The U.S. Dollar and the Death of Bin Laden

The U.S. Dollar Index finally rose off a 3-year low, and all it took was news of the death of Osama bin Laden, the leader of the radical al Qaeda faction. Most traders agree that the gain is likely a knee-jerk reaction and the dollar will revert before too long. As reported at 2:38 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the U.S. Dollar Index traded at 73.152 .DXY, a gain of 0.2%, coming off a 3-year low of 72.813 .DXY struck earlier in the session. In April, the Dollar Index lost nearly 4%, and traders say that it appears that the U.S. currency has been oversold in the short term, so a correction was expected.

The prevailing perception is that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy will remain in place for an extended period, and thus the U.S. Dollar will continue to be under downward pressure. This was highlighted last week when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released a report which showed that currency speculators increased their bets against the U.S. Dollar during the previously ended week.

The U.S. Dollar was higher against the common currency Euro, gaining 0.1% to trade at $1.4792; the Australian Dollar also fell against the greenback, slipping 0.2% after touching on a 29-year peak of $1.1011.

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/05/Death-of-bin-Laden-Sends-US-Dollar-High-in-Asian-Trading/7805
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By: Barbara Zigah With investors speculating that the Reserve Bank of Australia is likely to raise interest rates sooner than later given a higher inflation forecast, the Australian Dollar rose against the U.S. Dollar. As reported at 1:25 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the Aussie traded at $1.0687 against the greenback, up from $1.0579 in New York trading. It also moved higher against the Japanese Yen, trading at 85.94 Yen, up from New York’s late trade of 84.72 Yen, when it had lost 2.2% and traded at the lowest point in more than a month. Markets are pricing in an intervention from the Bank of Japan given the Yen’s rise.

According to one strategist in Japan, the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Statement, issued earlier in the trading day, was more hawkish than the market had been expecting, helping to boost risk appetite. In the statement, the Australian central bank left their economic growth estimate unchanged from the February forecast at 4.25% for the remainder of the year. They expect consumer prices to rise higher than the previous 3% forecast to 3.25%, with core inflation expected to accelerate to 3% from the 2.75% forecast. The outlook also noted that further monetary policy tightening is likely in order to keep inflation consistent. The bank’s target inflation goal is 2 to 3% in the medium term.

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/05/Reserve-Bank-of-Australia-Takes-Hawkish-Tone-Sends-Aussie-Higher/7846
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US Dollar Continues Downward Spiral

Posted by admin On 11:41 AM 0 comments
By: Barbara Zigah The greenback continues to lose ground against major currencies, with the U.S. dollar Index holding close to a 3-year low in Asian trading, and likely to see the biggest weekly drop since mid-January. As reported at 3:00 p.m. (JST) in Tokyo, the U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the greenback’s strength against other major currencies, slipped to 73.030 .DXY, a 0.1% decline and near the 72.871 .DXY low struck yesterday. So far this week, the index has lost about 1.4% of its value, and analysts predict further declines today as investors reposition their portfolios for the month end accounting.

Investor sentiment for the U.S. Dollar is seen as dwindling with the Federal Reserve’s recent reassurance that the central bank has no timetable for tightening the current easy money monetary policy. In support of the Fed’s stance, it was yesterday reported that the U.S. economy saw only minimal growth in the first quarter, while initial claims for unemployment benefits were higher than analysts’ had previously forecast.

The common currency Euro gained 0.2% against the U.S. Dollar trading at $1.4846, close to the 17-month high of $1.4882 struck yesterday on the EBS trading platform. Analysts say resistance is pegged at $1.4906. The Australian Dollar, however, fell against the greenback trading at $1.0901, a decline of 0.3%, yet still within striking distance of a 29-year high of $1.0948.

http://www.dailyforex.com/forex-news/2011/04/US-Dollar-Continues-Downward-Spiral/7794
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