USD Hits 1-Year Low on U.S Economic Pessimism

The U.S Dollar struck a one-year low against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, as investors reduced dollar holdings on views that the U.S. currency may weaken for now due to pessimism over the U.S. economy. Investors have been selling the greenback across the board as they speculate the Federal Reserve will be forced to keep its Interest Rates low for the time being to support the country’s fragile economy. Looking ahead, currency players will watch for the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for August to be released later in the day. The CPI data has the biggest potential to move forex markets, since a weak figure could lead to lower long-term U.S. interest rates, and that might prompt more Dollar selling.

USD – Dollar Reaches Lowest from Improving Risk Appetite

The U.S Dollar declined Tuesday, pushing the currency to the lowest level in a year and reversing earlier gains versus major counterparts after a pair of economic reports said U.S Retail Sales and Producer Prices rose more than economists expected, encouraging speculation that the economy is reviving.

As the global recovery continues, and risk diversification takes place, traders could see the U.S. Dollar remain under pressure for the upcoming months. Against the Japanese yen the Dollar also gave up earlier gains to trade at 91.07 yen, little changed from 91.02 yen late Monday.

The greenback was also undermined by gains in global stock markets, which reduced the USD appeal as a safe haven. For months, the greenback has tended to move in the opposite direction as equities as investors’ willingness to buy riskier assets fluctuates. That trend has shown signs of diminishing in the past month or so, and resuming its more traditional correlation to economic data.

Traders have sold the U.S. currency heavily so far this month as optimism about a global economic recovery diminished safe-haven demand. The prospect of low U.S. yields and concerns about the widening U.S. fiscal deficit fueled Dollar selling.

Today in focus will be a slew of U.S. data to be released later in the day. The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for August, 2nd quarter current account data, August industrial production numbers and September NAHB housing data are all due.

EUR – Pound Drops versus USD and EUR

The EUR dropped early Tuesday versus the Dollar after the ZEW German Economic Sentiment index showed weaker than expected results; however, the common currency later trimmed its losses, trading at $1.4671, from $1.4614 versus the Dollar on Monday.

The British Pound was the big mover on currency markets, dropping versus the greenback and falling to a 3-month low versus the European single currency after Bank of England (BOE)Governor Mervyn King said the Monetary Policy Committee was considering a cut in the deposit rate paid on some reserves held by commercial banks at the BOE. The GBP fell 0.5% versus the USD to $1.6498. The EUR advanced to its highest level against the GBP since June, trading at 88.94 pence

While a slow news day is expected from the Euro-Zone today, the release of the British Unemployment data at 8:30 GMT might help the Pound to regain some of its losses. The release of the Euro-Zone CPI report might weigh down on the common currency if the number is worse than expected, sparking fears of deflation.

JPY – JPY Down after Release of Encouraging US Data

Japan’s currency traded at 133.45 per EUR early morning, from 133.47 yesterday in New York. It traded at 91.02 per USD from 91.05. The Yen is being sold as investors move away from risk averse trading and into higher yielding assets following encouraging economic data from the US which signaled the recession is coming to an end.

The release of the Industrial Production report today at 13:15 GMT is predicted to show an increase of 0.6%, the most since October. This will likely contribute to further sell off of the Yen versus its riskier counterparts.

Crude Oil – Crude Prices Near $71 a Barrel

Crude Oil fell nearly 1% toward $71 on Wednesday, giving up some of the previous day’s gains of 3%, as a higher-than-expected rise in oil product stocks outweighed news signaling a U.S. economic recovery.

Though Crude Oil has more than doubled from this year’s low of $32.70 hit on January 20, it is trading 72$ below the record high of more than $147 struck in July 2008. Economists expect Crude prices to hover between $60 and $70, as demand has still not recovered to the extent that would help to sustain prices above $70.

The American Petroleum Institute said in its weekly inventory report after Tuesday’s close that crude stocks rose by 631,000 barrels last week, against the forecast for a 2.4-million-barrel drawdown. The oil market is currently focusing more on EIA data than equities or the Dollar, analysts have said.

While today’s release of US inventory data due at 14:30 GMT is expected to show a drop in stockpiles, a modest drop might not be enough to push Oil on another rally as inventories are still at their highest level.

Article Source – USD Hits 1-Year Low on U.S Economic Pessimism