Crash of U.S Dollar

US dollar falls on recession fears

The Japanese currency yen rose for the first time in five days against the dollar on speculation the US plan to invest $US250 billion in financial institutions won’t prevent the world’s largest economy from falling into a recession.

Japan’s currency gained versus the euro and the South African rand as US stocks plunged, encouraging investors to sell higher-yielding assets and pay back low-cost loans in Japan. The dollar extended its loss against the yen after a US Commerce Department report showed retail sales declined in September by the most in three years.

”Yen buying is still the mainstream trade because of risk aversion,” said Hidetoshi Yanagihara, senior currency trader at Mizuho Corporate Bank in New York. ”We are in a recession. People need to buy the yen in case the stock market collapses.”

Japan’s currency climbed 1.3% to 100.77 per dollar in New York, from 102.07 yesterday. It will strengthen to 95 in the next few weeks, Yanagihara said. The yen increased 2% to 136.26 per euro from 139.04. The dollar rose 0.7% to $US1.3526 per euro from $US1.3619 as investors sought a haven.

US retail sales decreased 1.2% in September, the most since August 2005, following a 0.4% drop in the prior month, the Commerce Department reported.

The economy deteriorated throughout the US last month, and pessimism about the outlook spread, the Federal Reserve said in its regional economic survey, known as the Beige Book because of the color of its cover. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a speech in New York that government efforts to calm financial markets and stem the credit crisis probably won’t lead to an economic rebound ”right away.”

Yen vs. Rand

Japan’s currency gained 9% to 10.15 against the South African rand while the Swiss franc rose 4.3% to 11.27 Mexican pesos as a drop in global stocks increased speculation that investors will abandon carry trades, in which they get funds in a country with low borrowing costs and buy assets where returns are higher. Japan’s 0.5% target lending rate and Switzerland’s 2.5% benchmark compare with 12% in South Africa and 8.25% in Mexico.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 7.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 6.1%.

The volume of currency trading was thin, and the bid-ask spread, the difference between the best buying price and the best selling price, was twice as wide as normal, according to Adam Fazio, a foreign-exchange strategist at CIBC World Markets in New York. ”People are keeping positions close to the vest,” he said.

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November 4, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . news.

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