Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dollar USA

      Last week I mentioned that though the G8 conference would impact the US dollar in the short term, the ultimate fate of the USD will ultimately be determined more by Bernanke than by anyone else. The Group of Eight’s meeting has come and gone, offering little good news for the USD. In the FOREX market, that “little good news” led to bad news for the USD, as the greenback surrendered some of the territory it had gained last week. So with the conference in the rear-view mirror… let’s look ahead.
     In his most recent column, Robert Novak wrote that despite his publically hawkish stance, Bernanke is more concerned with growth rates. Furthermore, Bernanke feels that oil and gasoline prices, if they continue to rise, could lead to the dreaded state of halted growth in addition to rising inflation. Assuming that what Novak is reporting is accurate, it would seem that Bernanke’s pronouncements last week were a charade. In other words, Bernanke isn’t likely to walk the walk. However, this might not be a bad thing. Many see the economy as not yet ready for a rate hike, and so perhaps holding rates constant for the next several months would be the best thing for the US economy.
     The USD has ended the rally it began last week, and while the short term prospects are dimmer than they were several days ago, the jury is still out regarding the long term. On the one hand, disappointing economic data that keeps coming out (most recently in the US: poor manufacturing results) would indicate that the USD is in for more stormy seas. However, analysts are noting that it has been years since people have held such bullish opinions about the USD. Many feel that the dollar is “due,” meaning that after taking its lumps for years, it is poised to finally recover. With the Saudis agreeing to pump more oil, perhaps the stars are aligning for a USD recovery. However, it’s hard to know the future for certain. As it is written in one of the Harry Potter books, we humans are not very good at reading the stars.
Upcoming Figures
AUD Reserve Bank of Australia’s Board Minutes (Jun)
EUR Italian Trade Balance (Euros) (Apr)
GBP Consumer Price Index (May)
EUR Euro-Zone Trade Balance (Euros) (Apr)
USD Current Account Balance (Q1)
USD Housing Starts (May)
JPY BoJ to Publish Minutes of Board Meetings

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