lunedì 20 settembre 2010

La sospetta debolezza del dollaro e il promettente futuro dell'argento

L'andamento sempre più caotico del mercato valutario non finisce di stupirmi e di affascinarmi. Secondo la newsletter settimanale di ci sono buone ragioni per diffidare della debolezza che il dollaro ha mostrato la scorsa settimana:

USD weakness looks suspect
The USD took a hit in the past week as better Chinese data supported global recovery prospects, weakening safe haven dollar demand, and markets responded to talk the Fed may undertake a second round of quantitative easing (QE). The greenback also likely weakened as the Chinese stepped back from dollar-buying intervention and allowed the RMB to strengthen. The Chinese data suggest a soft-landing has been achieved there and that is indeed supportive for the global outlook, and especially for commodity and regional currencies (e.g. AUD in particular) that benefit from Chinese growth. However, the other developments cited above are likely temporary in nature, suggesting potential for the USD to rebound in coming weeks. The talk of additional Fed QE seems premature given the split among FOMC members, with most content to maintain current policy and others openly questioning the effectiveness of QE. While US data has deteriorated, it does not yet reflect the 'appreciably' worse outlook Fed Chair Bernanke has indicated would be the trigger for additional unconventional policy measures. Judging by recent FOMC minutes, the subject of QE has barely been discussed, much less settled, so the prospect for additional asset purchases at this time seems highly remote. As such, USD weakness may dissipate following the FOMC meeting next Tuesday (Sept. 21). USD weakness emanating from China stepping back from managing the Yuan (RMB) seems similarly set to evaporate if they return to pattern (see more below).
To gauge the potential for a USD rebound, we will closely monitor the 1.2920/50 support level in EUR/USD, which was the recent range high and the break-level for recent EUR gains, and upside potential remains while price holds above. Keep in mind the German ZEW economic sentiment gauge has plunged from +53.0 in April to -4.3 in September, an indication of deteriorating 6-month outlooks. If EUR/USD does drop back below the range break at 1.2920/50, we would anticipate a test of prior range lows around 1.2590/2620 at the minimum, and very likely a break below toward 1.2450/80 initially. Convincing strength above 1.3150/60 will be needed to mount a challenge to recent 1.3330 highs and test the psychological 1.3500 level next.

Secondo il Wall Street Journal uno dei fattori che hanno pesato sulle scelte degli investitori è l'attesa per la riunione della Fed prevista per martedì prossimo. Ma  tutte le valute principali hanno problemi evidenti che le portano a indebolirsi a turno:

"We are in a very unusual environment, where the [four most widely traded] currencies all look like dogs, really," said Alan Ruskin, global head of Group of 10 foreign-exchange strategy at Deutsche Bank in New York.
Each is burdened by country-specific factors: the dollar because of the prospect of further quantitative easing, the yen because of downside risk if the Japanese central bank steps into markets again, the pound due to a string of data disappointments, and the euro due to stubborn sovereign-debt worries.(...)
"It's a tough trading environment. People are going to be looking further afield as to where to put on risk," Mr. Ruskin said.
The Australian dollar stands out as one likely beneficiary of moves away from the dollar, euro and yen. Emerging-market currencies in Asia and Latin America also stand to gain.

L'alternativa: le valute del passato, oro e argento, che registrano in questi giorni nuovi massimi:
Certainly, the rise in gold and silver prices could hardly be attributed to worries about near-term inflation. Friday's consumer-price report came in weaker than expected, and showed core inflation rates running at 44-year lows. Rather, the rally, particularly in the past month, seems to be keying off the prospect of further policy easing from the Federal Reserve precisely because of weak inflation rates and tepid economic growth.
While it isn't certain that the Fed will introduce additional "quantitative easing" measures at its next policy meeting on Tuesday, the likelihood of further intervention in the months ahead has grown. That's likely to keep downward pressure on the U.S. dollar, and benefit "monetary substitutes such as precious metals, art and other collectibles," says Scott Minerd, chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners.
The biggest risk for silver and gold bugs is that the outlook for U.S. economic growth stabilizes, and the dollar does too. Yet silver, unlike gold, also has industrial uses in electronics, solar energy, medical devices and increasingly popular radio-frequency identification, or RFID, tags. And while gold is already a common holding among hedge funds and some institutions, silver holdings are still pretty rare.
Silver may not be heading back for its record high levels of around $50 an ounce, but it probably has room to run before the rally tarnishes.


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