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Economic Crisis, No country is immune from the gloom

Stock-Markets / Financial Markets 2009 Mar 23, 2009 - 01:58 AM GMT

By: Regent_Markets

Stock-Markets After a volatile 5 days, world stock markets just managed to close last 5 days in the black. It was a week of two halves with the good work from the start of the week being undone in the second half as traders slipped into reverse gear on Thursday and Friday. At least markets managed to hold the gains from the previous week which in the context of the bear market is no mean feat.


The massive influx of money from the US Fed and UK Treasury led to a
substantial increase in both crude oil and gold prices last week. Crude
prices pushed through the $50 level for the first time since the start of
2009, while Gold endured a remarkable week, trading as low as $883 and
finishing at $951. It is no coincidence that these two markets are trading
higher in tandem as they are both linked with inflation expectations. Gold is
traditionally seen as an inflation hedge, while oil is a barometer for global
economic activity. With the Fed turning on the printing presses yesterday,
inflation fears are once again creeping into investor’s consciences.

The Fed’s plans have been described as a ‘shock and awe’ tactic, a phrase
first used to describe the initial stages of the conflict in Iraq. There was
certainly a shock last week, with the dollar registering its 3rd biggest
single day decline ever. However, after an initial rally, there was no awe
from equity markets as investors fret that like the Iraq conflict, there are
no plans in place to tidy up the inflation mess that could be round the
corner. The Greenback’s weakness has dampened what would have been an
excellent week for oil majors such as BP, which derive much of their income
in the form of US dollars.

This took the shine off the solid performance from other sectors such as
financials. Although AIG sparked Obama’s ire with its bonus payments, it was
on the whole a good week for the banks. Citigroup performed a reverse stock
split, finishing down, but Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and HSBC all performed well.
News that Barclays is planning to sell its shares unit has added fuel to the
fire, with HSBC also benefiting from the ‘independence’ premium. The success
of HSBC’s rights issue may have also encouraged financials.

The dollar wasn’t just punished because of the Fed’s action, though this was
certainly a significant catalyst. There were also rumours last week that the
UN may push for countries to diversify their currency reserves across a
basket of currencies, rather than being so heavily weighted in the US dollar.

With China holding massive reserves of US dollars, diversification could lead
to an oversupply on world markets, and a further depreciation in the value of
the dollar. There were gains for the pound against the dollar, but sterling
didn’t escape punishment against the euro. UK Plc was singled out for
punishment on news that unemployment reached a 12 year high. There are
concerns about the EU’s exposure to Eastern Europe, but this for the moment
is being outweighed by the state of the UK and US economies.

This week’s economic highlights include US existing home sales on Monday and
UK CPI on Tuesday. Wednesday is another busy day with German IFO, and UK CBI
realised sales, US durable goods, and US new home sales to come in the
afternoon. Thursday brings UK retail sales and US unemployment claims, and
Friday sees the latest UK current account data released. Sometime in the
week, Nationwide will release their latest UK house price index, and the MPC
inflation report hearing is tentative for Friday.

With the economic crisis being a truly global phenomenon, no country is immune
from the gloom. This makes picking a strong currency a tricky task which some
analysts have termed ‘ugly contest’. Gavekal wrote last week that “away from
the spotlight, some currencies either offer tremendous value because they
have been oversold concerns about debt exposure or because they have
sound-enough fundamentals which, in these panicked times, the markets are
ignoring.” Last week the commodity currencies such as the Norweigen Krona and
Canadian dollar were highlighted as being overlooked and likely to benefit
the most from any return to stability in the global economy.

A bull bet predicting that the USD/ CAD will be lower than 1.2300 this time
next year (360 days), could return 105% at BetOnMarkets.com.

By Mike Wright
Tel: +448003762737
Email: editor@my.regentmarkets.com
Url: Betonmarkets.com & Betonmarkets.co.uk

About Regent Markets Group:   Regent Markets is the world's leading fixed odds financial trading group. Through its main multi-awarding winning websites, BetOnMarkets.com and BetOnMarkets.co.uk, it has established itself as the leading global provider of a unique, powerful way to trade the world's major financial markets. The number, length and variety of trades available to our clients exists nowhere else in the world.   editor@my.regentmarkets.com Tel  (+44) 08000 326 279

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilizing methods believed reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Do your own due diligence.

Regent Markets Archive

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