Monday, October 25, 2010

Renewed USD Selling Boosts Commodities

G20's pledge to avoid competitive devaluation failed to halt the slide in USD. Indeed, the market realized the agreement may only calm fears of currency tensions temporary while, in the long term, global economic imbalances persist. The focus has turned to the upcoming FOMC meeting which will be held on November 2-3. Announcement of some sort of easing measures has been priced in. The unknown is how aggressive the Fed will restart QE2. As the dollar weakens, commodities advance with gold rising to 1339 after plunging to as low as 1315.6 last Friday. Crude oil strengthened for a second day to 82.5 as strikes in France continue and tropical storm threatens.

There are few catalysts stopping the market from selling USD even after the G-20 meeting. While member countries agreed to 'refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies' and to move towards 'more market determined exchange rate systems that reflect underlying economic fundamentals', there's no proposal on how to reduce international trade imbalance between countries. It's only stated in the communiqué that 'persistently large imbalances, assessed against indicative guidelines to be agreed, would warrant an assessment of their nature and the root causes of impediments to adjustment as part of the Mutual Assessment Process'.

The US has also made no commitment to refrain from further quantitative easing in the fact of criticisms by other member countries. German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said 'it's the wrong way to try to prevent or solve problems by adding more liquidity…Excessive, permanent money creation in my opinion is an indirect manipulation of an exchange rate'. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also agreed with the notion that 'aggressive quantitative easing in the US would create devaluation pressure on the U.S. currency'......Read the entire article.

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