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Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Dollar Trades Near November Low Before Geithner Discusses Cliff
By Masaki Kondo - Nov 29, 2012 8:20 AM GMT+0400
The dollar was 0.4 percent from the lowest this month versus the euro before Treasury SecretaryTimothy F. Geithnermeets congressional leaders to discuss the so-called fiscal cliff.
The Dollar Index declined for a second day after comments from U.S. lawmakers fueled optimism the $607 billion combination of tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect in January will be avoided. The yen fell versus most major peers as Asian stocks gained before data forecast to show the U.S. gross domestic product expanded faster than previously estimated.
“The fiscal cliff can be a selling catalyst for the dollar,” said Kengo Suzuki, a currency strategist in Tokyo at Mizuho Securities Co., a unit of Japan’s third-largest bank by market value. “The U.S. GDP figure will be positive for risk sentiment, spurring yen selling.”
The dollar traded at $1.2954 per euro as of 1:13 p.m. in Tokyo from $1.2953 in New Yorkyesterday. It touched $1.3009 on Nov. 27, the weakest since Oct. 31. The yen was little changed at 106.37 per euro and 82.12 versus the greenback.
The Dollar Index (DXY), which IntercontinentalExchange Inc. uses to track the greenback against currencies of six U.S. trading partners, fell 0.1 percent to 80.277. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) of shares rose 0.8 percent, sapping demand for lower- yielding, haven assets.
Geithner will meet separately with each of the four top leaders in Congress today. House Speaker John Boehner said yesterday he is “optimistic” lawmakers engaged in budget talks can avert the crisis.
“Markets are becoming increasingly headline driven, with risk appetite gyrating on any fresh lead on fiscal cliff developments,” Mitul Kotecha, the Hong Kong-based global head of foreign-exchange strategy at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, wrote in a research note today. “Currencies will continue to track the gyrations in risk, but in large part remain in well-defined ranges.”
The JPMorgan G7 Volatility Index, derived from premiums on currency options, was at 7.33 percent after touching 7.08 percent on Nov. 20, the lowest since August 2007.
The U.S. economy probably grew at an annualized 2.8 percent in the third quarter, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the figures due today. The initial reading from the Commerce Department last month showed a 2 percent increase.
The yen has lost 2.9 percent against the dollar since the end of October, set for the biggest monthly slump since February. The euro is little changed in November.
The European Commission is likely to confirm today that a gauge of the euro area’s consumer confidence slid to the lowest in more than three years as the region’s prolonged debt crisis weighed on growth. The index fell to minus 26.9 this month from minus 25.7 in October, economists forecast, matching the figure released a week ago that was the lowest since May 2009.
Moody’s Investors Service said in a report today that Greece’s debt burden remains unsustainable even after European finance ministers decided to ease bailout terms and release funds to the nation.
“Compared with the U.S., Europe’s economy is clearly in bad shape,” said Masato Yanagiya, head of currency and money trading in New York at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., a unit ofJapan’s second-biggest listed financial group by market value. “Looking at those fundamentals, the euro will be sold against the dollar over the longer term.”