Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Questions on US dollar

Question: is it the USD to watch or the Euro? Just that there appears to be an
inverse correlation between the EURUSD and US equities, gold, etc. I looked at
JPYUSD and didn't see the same correlate, and the 'commodity currencies' like
CAD, AUD, etc seem to rise & fall with commodity prices rather than what the
USD is doing specifically. While I agree that a spike in USD will likely
coincide with a drop in equities would a EURO sell-off coincide with that or
precede it?Does that make sense?

Also, I'm convinced this 'dollar doomism' that seems to be popular these days is rooted more in ideology than reality. Do you think perhaps, without getting into tinfoil hat territory, that there's a deliberate ploy to force the Fed to raise interest rates prematurely?

Not a stupid question at all. Euro is over 50% of the USD index (comprised of a basket of currencies including the loonie). Yen has been the strongest currency since the credit crunch started in mid 2007. I have been long it at times, but not sure if it will do as well in the next phase. Big movements in commodity currencies can influence USD. I watch the Euro religiously. It needs to break down for any sell-off to be meaningful in my opinion (as a sign of unwinding of the carry trade). The Euro is very, very overvalued in my opinion.

I agree that the doomism is more rooted in ideology than reality. Don`t see a ploy. Only ploy is borrow in USD, go long risky assets. A classic carry trade. I believe that since everyone hates the USD and likes the Yen, and there is no difference in interest rates between the two, the USD has replaced the Yen as the carry trade currency of choice. This will result in a soaring US dollar if asset prices drop once again. I no longer think that the Yen will soar the way it did last year, although I think the Euro and commodity currencies will take the biggest hit.

Disclosure: Positions in US, Canadian and Euro cash.

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