Wednesday, September 12, 2007

EURO versus Dollar

The euro strengthened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested offers around the US$ 1.3840 level and was supported around the $1.3775 level. Traders await remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke from Berlin later today. Comments from Fed officials yesterday evidenced a wide range of opinions concerning the effects of the current global credit crunch on the U.S. economy. Fed Governor Mishkin reported that if “heightened uncertainty” leads to further pullbacks in household and business spending, “it poses an important downside risk to economic activity.” The Federal Open Market Committee convenes one week from today and many traders believe the Fed will reduce the federal funds target rate by up to 50bps. In contrast to Mishkin’s remarks, Dallas Fed President Fisher suggested a steady course of action would be sensible saying “having a steady hand rather than an itchy trigger finger” is what guides him. Fisher added “I set aside the passions of the moment and the conventional wisdom in the markets and keep a steady focus on the Fed's mission. Conducting monetary policy is not a popularity contest.” Data released in the U.S. today saw the July trade balance narrow to –US$ 59.2 billion, down 0.3% from the upwardly revised –US$ 59.4 billion in June. In eurozone news, the European Commission reduced its EMU-13 growth forecast to +2.8% from its previous projection of +2.9%. Likewise, the EC now sees 2007 inflation at 2.0% compared with earlier forecasts of 1.9%. Also, the German August wholesale price index was up 0.5% m/m and up 2.5% y/y. Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.3620 level.

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