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Startbeitrag von prophecy am 13.08.2006 13:45

Dollar Posts Weekly Gains as Fed Says More Increases Possible
Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar posted its biggest weekly gains in a month versus the euro and yen as the Federal Reserve indicated it may lift borrowing costs again, after pausing in its interest-rate boosts for the first time in two years.

The U.S. currency added to gains yesterday after a government report showed retail sales surged in July, reinforcing speculation the Fed will increase rates again this year. Entering this week, traders were betting the dollar would fall as the Fed paused, and their buying of the currency to exit those bets fueled the rally, strategists said.

``The Fed left the door open,'' said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at the Bank of New York. ``This week has been a series of events stacked up against those with short dollar positions,'' which are bets the currency will fall.

The U.S. currency climbed 1.2 percent this week to $1.2722 per euro. It reached a two-week high of $1.2717 yesterday, rebounding from a two-month low of $1.2912 touched Aug. 10. The dollar gained 1.6 percent this week to 116.31 yen, reaching the highest since July 26.

The yen fell 0.4 percent to 147.96 per euro this week as a report showed Japan's economy cooled last quarter by more than expected. It touched 148.60 on Aug. 10, the lowest since the single currency debuted in 1999.

`Overwhelmingly Short'

The Fed's decision on Aug. 8 to keep the target for the overnight lending rate between banks on hold at 5.25 percent was expected by most economists. The median forecast of 101 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News was for the Fed to pause. Thirty-one of those predicted an increase to 5.5 percent.

In advance of the Fed's meeting, investors were betting the dollar would drop against the euro, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. The net number of futures bets on euro gains rose by almost 50 percent in the week ending Aug. 1 to 73,429, according to CFTC figures from Aug. 4. The figure rose to a record 92,108 in the week to Aug. 8.

``The market was overwhelmingly short the dollar,'' said David Powell, the chief currency strategist at research firm IDEAglobal in New York. ``It was a dovish statement and they did pause but it didn't make any clearer that they are done.''

The bank has raised rates from a four-decade low of 1 percent in June 2004 to combat inflation. The Fed's rate boosts spurred a 14 percent gain against the euro and yen last year.

`Risks Remain'

``Some inflation risks remain,'' the central bank said. ``The extent and timing of any additional firming that may be needed to address these risks will depend on the evolution of the outlook for both inflation and economic growth.''

The euro initially rallied to about $1.29 after the Fed paused, before reversing course. The euro also gained on Aug. 10 after the U.S. raised its security threat level following a foiled plot to blow up airliners traveling from Britain.

``There are still a large number of speculative accounts short the dollar,'' said Thierry Elias, head of currency trading in New York at Natexis Banques Populaires. ``They might be unloading their positions, considering the inability of the euro to progress beyond $1.29.''

Interest-rate futures showed traders see a 27 percent chance the Fed will lift the overnight lending rate between banks to 5.5 percent at its meeting on Sept. 20, down from 71 percent earlier this week. Futures reflect a 71 percent chance of a Fed increase to 5.5 percent by year-end, up from 56 percent two days ago.

`Dollar-Friendly'

Traders added to bets on another Fed increase yesterday after the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 1.4 percent in July after a 0.4 percent drop in June. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 0.9 percent gain.

``These are solidly dollar-friendly numbers,'' said Alan Ruskin, head of international currency strategy at RBS Greenwich Capital Markets in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The dollar has dropped 7 percent against the euro and about 1.2 percent versus the yen this year on expectations central banks in Europe and Japan will continue raising rates after the Fed stops.

The yen fell this week as the government said Japan's economy expanded last quarter at less than half the rate economists predicted. Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui said there's no predetermined timeframe for raising rates.

Japanese gross domestic product expanded at an annualized 0.8 percent pace between April and June, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo, below the 2.0 percent median forecast of economists. The BOJ raised the key rate last month to 0.25 percent from near zero percent, its first increase in almost six years.

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nur zu ;-)



von sommy - am 14.08.2006 08:21
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