IB FX View

Independence Day

Tuesday October 6, 2009

No, not July – but we refer immediately to the article in Britain’s The Independent newspaper, which on Tuesday laid the grounds for a rebound in commodity and stock markets as it “revealed” secret plans allegedly made by key officials from China, Japan, Russia and Brazil. The author claims that Persian countries are laying the foundations for a nine-year plan to exclude the role of the dollar in the pricing of crude oil. If you get chance we encourage you to study its content and style. See if you notice the conscientious effort the author goes to in order to convince anyone doubting its integrity that there is no point in checking, because it’s all true. We’re watching eagerly today to see if the Obama administration will issue a threat that it will refuse to use oil to power its nation’s automobile use!


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The dollar suffered as a result of today’s fanciful story and spurred various other actions into play. Commodity prices rallied. The price of copper rose having faced five consecutive weeks of lower closing prices. Gold was the most notable mover based on the article. Of course if the dollar is set to go out of fashion, demand for alternative hard assets might explode. Gold added 1.9% to over $1,036 for a tiny ounce. Shares in commodity producers helped bolster global stock markets while crude oil prices reversed Monday’s losses as investor’s worried over the dollar’s prospects.

The Independent’s report was scotched by separate comments from Kuwait’s oil minister, Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor and a Japanese official, each allegedly with no knowledge of the meetings to discuss the demise of the greenback. Perhaps this is what the author meant when he cunningly eclipsed any such denials by quoting an unnamed Chinese banker who predicted the thunderous round of denials that would vindicate the story.

The dollar fell against the euro to $1.4750and reached ¥88.63 against the yen. Mr. Fujii, Japan’s finance minister, who apparently writes his own daily blog on ‘where next for the yen,’ told reporters that he’d argued against nation’s deliberate policies to weaken their currencies. His comments were taken to mean that Japan would stand by a rising yen.

Commodity currencies were especially strong today following a shocking 0.25% rise in the Australian benchmark rate from the RBA. Its increase took all but one analyst by surprise. Most believed that any discussion surrounding raising interest rates at any of the G20 nations was a matter for 2010 and not this year. A string of strong confidence readings from investors and business leaders along with rising retail consumption and the addition of job vacancies was enough to prompt governor Glenn Stevens to push rates higher stating that, “the basis for such a low interest rate setting has now passed.”

The Aussie dollar at 89.13 cents is on a tear and has not traded this high since August 2008. As we noted earlier the rally for commodity prices encouraged by a limp greenback today has also endorsed the commodity-unit’s rally today. In addition the sensation that economic growth is getting back on to its feet is undermining the view that commodity demand will taper off. The Canadian dollar is at a similar peak following today’s greenback onslaught. The unit today buys 94.62 U.S. pennies.

The only currency having a hard time against the dollar today is the British pound. It did rally earlier to reach $1.6050 only to slide following a report from the ONS showing an 18-year slump in manufacturing output during August. The data was far-worse than expectation and revives the view that economic output is set to stall. The pound has eased to $1.5935 to the dollar, while against the euro it’s fallen to 92.54 pennies.


Andrew Wilkinson                                                                    

Senior Market Analyst                                                               ibanalyst@interactivebrokers.com       


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