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Range trading continues

Over the last week we have continued to see the YEN unwinding particularly against the USD falling 9% from the low to high point in the week- a major shift in sentiment!  This is not surprising after a poor start to 2009 for the Japanese economy; figures demonstrated that exports fell 46% in January alone and their economy sank 3.3% in the last 3 months of 2008.  This weak data was exasperated by the resignation of the Japanese finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa following his erratic performance at the recent G7 meeting.

The weakening of the Yen as discussed earlier this week underlines a shift in sentiment away from a currency previously conceived as a “safe haven”. The trend of the “Dollar Index” which tracks the US currency against a basket of currencies demonstrated this movement away from Yen and back into the dollar.  The index has already increased 8% in 2009 as investors are now looking at the US dollar as the favourable option for safety.  This is ironic given the awful data arising from the US economy.... yesterday we saw durable goods fall 5.2% in January and jobless claims soared to 667,000- very weak data which only helped to strengthen the dollar as risk aversion and a flight to safety stepped up a notch. Later today the GDP data and personal consumption expenditure from the US at 13:30 GMT will provide more feedback for the US economy.

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