Saturday, April 9, 2011


A positive rate outlook for the Euro and the continuing downtrend in the USD has resulted in quite a sustained uptrend in the EUR USD exchange rate. As the Club Med nations come to the table asking for handouts, the ECB has gone ahead with the first of many proposed rate hikes. Rising inflationary pressures as a result of booming commodity prices led by Crude Oil could have forced the ECB's hand at this point.

But is this rally in the EURO justified?

Is the USD in much worse shape than the Euro?

Here's my analysis:

  • The Euro has considerable exposure to Club Med and is by no means out of the woods.
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  • The USD too has many structural weaknesses - rapidly expanding Federal debt levels, terrible finances at the state and municipal government level, a slumping housing market and uncomfortably high unemployment.
  • .
  • But the fact remains that the USD is oversold at the moment.
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  • The CBOE VIX is currently trading well under 20, at 18 currently. A warning sign for perma bulls.
  • .
  • Equity markets are far too complacent at the moment, totally ignoring the headwinds of $113 Crude Oil and all the negative geo -political newsflow. The risk reward ratio is clearly against the prudent investor. .

  • Just like 2008, an equity market sell off will once again be accompanied by risk aversion and a rebound in the USD as investors shun other risky asset classes ( emerging market equities and hot commodities) for the relative safety of the USD and the US Bond Market. The USD always benefits from the flight to safety during market panics.

Sadly,most fiat currencies are seriously flawed as governments continue to ignore structural problems of their economies, preferring to ''kick the can further down the road''.

This is reflected in the fact that Gold and Silver continue to rally in most currencies.

Commodity currencies like the CAD, Swedish Krona & the Australian Dollar remain vulnerable to a sell off in the commodity markets. The Swiss Franc and the Japanese Yen have also shown sustained strength vs the USD.
To conclude, I expect the USD to recover when the stock market starts to sell off & I expect further negative newsflow from Club Med in coming months to weaken the ''overbought'' EURO.

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