The U.S. Dollar gained slightly following comments from the European Central Bank president, Jean-Claude Trichet. Although investors expected the ECB to hold interest rates steady at 4.25%, the questions and answers session with the ECB president, which followed yesterday’s meeting, surprised few players in the currency market.
The U.S. Dollar weakened broadly today as foreign exchange dealers took profit they have made during the recent gains, ahead of major interest rate decisions from the Euro zone and the U.K. The Bank of England and the European Central Bank are expected to keep interest rates unchanged at 5% and 4.25% respectively. Investors will scrutinize Jean-Claude Trichet’s comments after the meeting to find clues on policy directions for the coming months.
The U.S. Dollar traded slightly lower while just off a 7-week high versus the Japanese Yen, due to falling oil prices, even though the Fed’s announcement to keep interest rates unchanged dampened expectations that interest rates would be increased any time soon.
Aided by a fall in the price of oil, which is trading near $119 a barrel, the U.S. Dollar reached a 6-week high versus the Euro, while investors wait for an announcement on the direction of interest rates, expected to be released by the Federal Reserve some time today. It is anticipated that the Federal Reserve will maintain the 2% interest rate, as the sluggish economy is tempering the need to adjust interest rates upward in an effort to tackle inflationary pressure.
The U.S. Dollar saw little movement in early trading today, having backed away from last week’s gains as a result of better than expected jobs data from the U.S. Meanwhile, traders eagerly await the outcome of this week’s meetings of the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank.
The U.S. Dollar edged slightly higher against the Euro ahead of important U.S. non-farm payroll data which will be released today. However, it fell slightly against the Japanese yen.
The U.S. Dollar rose against major currencies on Wednesday, following the release of a report which showed that July U.S. private sector job data was unexpectedly better than the previous month. This data consequently raised the possibility of seeing some improvement in the data expected from the non-farming sector payroll, which will be released on Friday.
On July 28, 2008 Merrill Lynch announced that it would write down approximately $5.7 billion for the 3rd quarter and also raise capital by selling shares equivalent to $8.5 billion. Consequently, Merrill Lynch’s losses and write downs in the past year is almost $20 billion and $40 billion, respectively. These hefty write downs and the need to raise additional capital was somewhat offset by worries over the impact of the U.S.-routed financial problems on the world economy, and as a result, the U.S. Dollar traded flat in early trading today.
The U.S. Dollar rose to 108.00 Yen today as a result of last week’s better than expected data from the United States regarding home sales and capital spending. This data lifted some of the concerns over the U.S. economy.
A sharp increase in import prices in Germany, combined with aggressive talk by European Central Bank officials, suggests that interest rates are more apt to rise rather than to fall in the Euro zone in the coming months.
The Euro dropped to a 2-week low versus the U.S. Dollar, following the release of weak economic data from the Euro zone and the realization that interest rates for the Euro zone will not be hiked any time in the near future.
The Japanese Yen fell to a one month low against the U.S. Dollar as a result of hawkish comments from U.S. officials, coupled with a sharp decline in crude oil prices. The Yen also fell to a record low versus the Euro as lower oil prices aided to boost risk appetite, pushing investors to move out of the low yielding Yen and into higher yielding assets.
Concerns about the state of the United States financial sector sent the U.S. Dollar to near record lows today against the Euro. On Monday, the U.S. Dollar gained slight support after second quarter earnings from Bank of America was better than expected; however, further poor earnings from blue-chip companies such as Amex reinforced corporate stress.
On Monday, July 21, 2008, the U.S. Dollar firmed, only cents away from a record low against the Euro, primarily on renewed investor confidence brought about by the better-than-expected results announced last week by J.P. Morgan, CitiGroup and Wells Fargo; it was also helped by the favorable reception of the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae rescue plans, which were also announced last week. The U.S. Dollar was further supported by a sharp reduction in oil prices which, at one point last week, was down $18 per barrel.
The U.S. Dollar edged slight against major currencies in midday trading in London due to less than expected loss for the second quarter by CitiGroup, which calmed some jitters about the health of the U.S. financial sector.