Monday, February 11, 2013

Euro Hits New Low on Slowdown Signs while Yen Advances

The Euro dipped to a two week low versus the Dollar on political uncertainty and held a three day loss against the Yen ahead of data expected to show, that industrial production in France fell.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is facing calls to resign following newspaper reports alleging his acceptance of illegal cash payments. In Italy, current opinion polls shown that Italy's former Premier, Silvio Berlusconi, who was convicted of tax fraud in 2012, is closing the gap on front runner Pier Luigi Bersani. Italian elections have been set down for the 24th and 25th of February.

France's statistics office is due to release data today that is expected to show, that Industrial production in France has likely dropped by 0.2% in December from November.

Finance chiefs from the Euro bloc are also set to meet in Brussels today in order to discuss aid to Greece and Cyprus. They hope to win back crisis-management momentum following recent signals that the three year old crisis is far from over.

For the moment, I expect the current negative momentum behind the Euro to stay in place, as it's apparent to most investors that there are more European risks showing than there were at the start of the year.

I do think that we might see a stronger Sterling against the Euro, as the British pound has risen of late against the Euro as bets remain on that the Bank of England (BOE) will refrain from extending its stimulus program, which is in contrast to the European Central Bank's stance that its own policy will "remain accommodative."

Earlier today, the Euro touched $1.3325 and slid 0.1% to 123.72 Yen. The Yen climbed 0.2% to 92.54 per Dollar.

The Yen's steep drop over the past three months, by 14% against the U.S. Dollar, has ignited criticism From South Korea to Russia to the effect that Japan is competitively devaluing the Yen.

Central bank governors and Finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations will meet in Moscow on Friday and Saturday. The G-20 will likely see heated debate of currencies.

Demand for the Yen was higher today on market corrections, though I expect the Yen to be volatile in the short term as mixed rhetoric from politicians is set to make headlines.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) will start a two day policy meeting Thursday.