Market review for 12 – 16.12, 2011
Last week the US dollar was in a high demand in the market, which allowed the U.S. currency to strengthen against its major competitors. In particular: on Monday the U.S. dollar strengthened against the most major currencies together with the increased demand for safety assets. Moreover, another reason supported that outgrowth due to the expectations of tomorrow’s negative report on Germany’s investor confidence. That report could have shown the reduction in investors’ confidence in European economy, which in turn was supposed to result in increased demand for safe-haven currencies, like US Dollar and Japanese Yen. On Tuesday the positive trading dynamics of greenback set due to market participations’ anticipations of the EFSF auction. The market participants expected negative sales in connection of the possible reduction by Standard & Poor’s agency the highest rating of the leading EU countries. Day after the FOMC meeting, on Wednesday the American dollar accelerated its bullish trend against major currencies .The Federal Reserve, despite the optimistic assessment of the American economy, also noted the ” significant hidden risks.”At the end of the week the dollar had support due to negative dynamics of U.S. stock markets against the background of the announcement of rating agency Fitch, which placed ratings of Belgium, Spain, Slovenia and Italy to the list for review.
The Euro started out its last week with a sharp move lower against the most major currencies in anticipation of auction of Italy’s government bonds. The expectations were negative amid spread fears of the debt crisis in EU countries. Also, the pressure on the Euro currency had to do with investors’ concerns about the potential consequences from the disagreement between the UK and EU leaders’ arrangements on the last Friday’s summit. The EUR/USD pair suffered big drop to $1.3182 at the end of the European trading session. On Tuesday, the Credit rating agencies continued to criticize the results of the European summit and reinforced worries that the agreement would not be sufficient to contain the EU debt crisis .The report of the German institute ZEW, which recorded a growth of business confidence of the largest euro zone economy and the EU as a whole in the first over the past 10 months, positively supported the dynamics of trading of the Euro currency and the EUR/USD showed its daily high at $1.3235 level. On Wednesday the European countries were preparing to sell bonds on the background of the deteriorating situation of the debt crisis in the EU region. The EUR/USD pair consolidated at $1.3030 level during the Asian trading session. At the auction, despite the high demand for Italian bonds, the average yield was 6.47% vs. 6.29 for a similar previous release. The EUR/USD couple dropped under the $1.3000 mark at end of the European session against the persistence of concerns about worsening debt crisis in EU. Thursday’s Asian trading session, especially its second part, showed us the outgrowth of the Euro currency. The EUR/USD pair rose on the positive anticipations of the Spain government bonds auction and had rallied to its session’s highs of $1.3034 level at the end of the session. However, the resistance of this level proved futile and the couple pulled back down to test the $1.2960 support level. The result of Spain bond’s auction had a positive effect for Euro currency. In details, today Spain sold its bonds for 6.03 billion euro versus planned 3.5 billion euro. The EUR/USD had a sharp snapback recovering from its daily lows to the highs of previous session. Indeed, the European session was quite volatile for the EUR/USD couple. All in all, At the end of the week the EUR / USD lost 2.5%
Increase in the dollar against the British pound was limited to an increase in demand for sterling as a relatively safe asset. The losses of GBP/USD amounted only to 1.0%.There were also other factors which supported English currency during the previous week. On Tuesday, the pound rose to its daily highs around $1.5620 area after the Royal Institute announced that the RICSS’s house price balance index in Britain rose in November to – 17% amid rising demand versus – 24% in October and forecasted -25% .Wednesday’s trading sessions were supported by published data on the labor market in the UK, which showed that in November unemployment rate remained at 5.0% .
During Thursday’s sessions, the Swiss franc rose against all major currencies amid expectations of the decision of the Swiss central bank. It was expected that the SNB would refrain from weakening the CHF currency. The Franc rose against the US dollar and the Euro after the Swiss National Bank left the “anchor” of the national currency to the Euro at the same level.
The Australian dollar fell in trading on Wednesday and matched parity with U.S. dollar. Again, the reason was because of the increased nervousness of market participants due to the European debt crisis.
Gold prices experienced negative dynamics during the previous week and closed at $1598 level mark on Friday.
World oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday. For the first time since 2008 the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at the meeting on 14 December decided to raise quotas for hydrocarbons production. In details, OPEC decided to increase the quota for the production from 24.845 million bpd to 30 million barrels / day. The WTI oil futures fell by more than five dollars and closed below $95 a barrel.