Marc To Market's blog
The US dollar closed higher against all the major currencies during the holiday shortened week. The lack of liquidity may have exaggerated the weakness of Swedish krona and Norwegian krone, the poorest performing major currencies. Both lost about 1.5% against the greenback.
The least weak currencies were in the dollar-bloc. The Canadian and New Zealand dollars were practically flat, and the Australian dollar slipped 0.2%. The euro and sterling slipped about 0.5%, while the yen shed 0.7% of its recent gains.
As the year winds down, a Gordian knot tying Russia, oil prices and China together is receiving a great deal of attention. Let's see if we can unravel some of the confusing twists and turns.
We turn first to China's offer of assistance to Russia. The idea that Russia could activate its CNY150 bln (~$24 bln) currency swap line with China is capturing the imagination of many.
When the dollar falls, we are told it is logical. The empire is crashing and burning. When the dollar rises, the markets, we are told are manipulated. Well, the dollar is back, and the technical correction ended, near we told you it would.
The fundamental issue confronting investors is about supply and demand. In recent weeks, as energy prices and other industrial commodity prices fell, investors focused on supply. The stimulative effect of the fall in prices, and the likely policy response by some major central banks, such as the ECB, and possibly the BOJ. This was good for equity markets and weighed on the euro and yen.
The US dollar's run stopped last week, but not before new highs were recorded against the euro, sterling, and the yen. By the end of the week, the euro had risen 1.4%, sterling 0.9%, and the yen had risen as much as the two of them put together. It was the biggest weekly gain for the yen in 16-months.
There is one pressing question that international investors will be mulling this weekend: How far and how long is the dollar's correction?
Many observers have proclaimed the death of OPEC. This seems to be a premature judgment, and may reflect a misunderstanding of oligopolistic practices.
The decision not to cut production is not a sign of the OPEC impotence as has been argued. If OPEC would have cut output, and lost market share as a consequence, would OPEC's future really been brighter?
A dispassionate look at the week ahead.
Deny it. Engage in all kinds of mental gymnastics to dismiss it if you must, but the fact is the US dollar is rising, and not just because of negative developments abroad, but positive economic developments in the US.
Can there be a currency war without victims? Why hasn't any official accused Japan of a currency war?
Unvarnished analysis as if people were not stupid, easily manipulated, or subject to false consciousness.
A look at the global capital markets as if analysis matters.
Is the oil cartel impotent? Is the price of oil going to fall further? What to expect from tomorrow's OPEC meeting.
The look at the drivers of next week, without using the word manipulation or conspiracy, or referring to how stupid or evil some people may or may not be.
Contrary to the death of the dollar chatter, the US currency continues to appreciate. Here's why there is still punch left in the bowl.
If there were no puppet masters in Washington DC or the Kremlin, what would happen next week?