Risk off continues apace

Currencies Direct November 24th 2010 - 2 minute read

The Dollar continues to advance
against the Pound and Euro this morning as the safe haven currencies benefit
from the ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsular. A US aircraft carrier is on route to support the
South Koreans in a spot of puffing the chest and attempting to look scary in a
joint military exercise, with the Chinese also announcing they will look to
work with the US
to resolve the tensions. With all sides on edge, the Dollar and Swiss franc
will continue to hold onto its gains in the coming days. The release of the
Federal Reserve minutes last night passed largely as expected, with most
members agreed that the benefits of further QE still outweigh the costs and
that a monthly purchase scheme was the best option available. The Fed also
discussed specific term rate targeting – a departure from the current duel
mandate of inflation and employment – and the uber QE option if pursued. This
will be worth following going forward since any change in the Feds mandate or
stance will likely have large ramifications for the Dollar.

Ireland. That, in one word, is why
the Euro continues to lose value against Sterling
and the Dollar. After snaring its prey after what seems like one of the most
drawn out pursuits in history, the market is now on the look out for its next
victim. Portugal
is currently in the crosshair, and will face almost certain death unless
drastic fiscal action – which is not guaranteed to work – is implemented almost
immediately. The real worry continues to be Spain which, if it were require EU
cash, would almost certainly use up most if not all of the funds and probably
need further money down the line. This story has much further to run and the
big question is how will the Germans, who are bearing the brunt of the costs,
react the a further wave of bail outs, and will this lead to political reforms in
those countries led by Germany? Interesting times!

UK GDP was unchanged at 0.8%
quarter on quarter this morning, with the annualised rate also unchanged at
2.8%. The market expected a revision downwards so an unchanged figure would, in
normal market conditions, lend the Pound some strength. However, Sterling is being thrown around like a rag doll by the
Dollar and Euro and with a raft of low key UK economic figures out today the
theme of Strength against the Euro and weakness versus the Dollar is likely to

Report by Alistair Cotton

Written by
Currencies Direct

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