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Dollar, Yen Rise as Stock Markets Extend Drop in Asian Trade

Dollar, Yen Rise as Stock Markets Extend Drop in Asian Trade

2010-05-19 05:07:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist

Key Overnight Developments

• Australian Consumer Confidence Down Most in 7 Months, Says Westpac
US Dollar, Japanese Yen Rise as Stock Markets Extend Drop in Asian Trade

Critical Levels


The Euro and the British Pound slid 0.1 and 0.3 percent respectively against the US Dollar as Asian stock exchanges followed Wall St lower, boosting safety demand for the greenback. We remain short EURUSD at 1.4881.

Asia Session Highlights


Australian Consumer Confidence dropped 7 percent in May – the most in 19 months – according to a report from the Westpac Banking Corp amid a sharp deterioration in survey respondents’ medium- and long-term outlook for economic growth. Westpac chief economist Bill Evans chalked up the outcome to the central bank’s interest rate hikes and the “re-emergence of global economic nervousness,” a reference to the EU sovereign debt crisis. Australian Dollar dropped to the lowest level since September 2009 after the data crossed the wires amid expectations that the outcome would lead the Reserve Bank of Australia to scale back monetary tightening after adding 1.5 percent to benchmark borrowing costs since October of last year. Indeed, a Credit Suisse gauge of priced-in policy expectations showed traders pared down their 12-month rate hike outlook by a whopping 16bps from yesterday.

Euro Session: What to Expect


Minutes from the June policy meeting of the Bank of England headline the economic calendar in European hours. On balance, the outcome is unlikely to reveal much that has not already found its way into the exchange rate. Indeed, the near-term policy landscape was broadly revealed with last week’s publication of the Quarterly Inflation Report, with the bank again chalking up the recent upswing in inflation to temporary factors and arguing that currently policy will be sufficient to bring prices back toward the 2 percent target level over the medium term. The BOE also stressed the need to rein in public finances, but little on that front will be concrete until the new government announces an emergency budget in June. This puts monetary policy in neutral, with Governor Mervyn King alluding to as much just yesterday, saying the bank was “ready expand or reduce the extent of monetary stimulus as needed”.

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