Midday on Friday markets were mixed and trading with high volatility amid the conflicting signals over the outlook for the global recovery. The woes eased over the downside pressures from Japan and its nuclear crisis on growth yet the Middle East tension prevail and the EU summit still did not buckle fears over the extending crisis with Portugal still an open wound.
The dollar was buoyed further with the upside revision to the US growth in the last quarter easing the fears over the global path to recovery. The expansion was revised higher to 3.1% topping estimates while inflation continued to pose no threat to the US with the CORE PCE -feds favorite gauge- trending lower to 4.0% on the year from 4.1%.
The fluctuations remained especially after the University of Michigan confidence was revised lower to 67.5 from the previous 68.2 estimate and February's 77.5. The dollar index nonetheless held onto the gains and continued to trend to the upside. The index currently hovers around 75.93 recording the highs of 75.95 and the lows off 75.60.
Seemingly the US remains better stationed that its peers, where Europe is rattled by the debt crisis, UK suffers sluggish growth and surging inflation, Japan was hit with the devastating earthquake, and China is focusing of trimming inflation. So with the ongoing hesitation in markets the likelihood remains in favor of the dollar!
We can see the gains for greenback spreading across the board and against the major trading currencies. The Yen and the Franc continued to weaken on the slight subsiding of fears over Japan and the outlook for the global recovery despite the SNB's and KOF's signal that June might be the coming move from the SNB on rates.
The USDCHF traded bullishly and the franc weakened to as much as 0.9160 and currently hovering around those levels from the strongest traded for the franc today at 0.9072 per dollar. As for the USDJPY the pair moved within the same tight range steady above 80 levels and trading higher over intraday basis around 81.21 recording the high of 81.37 and the low of 80.85.
Sterling and the euro both slumped versus the dollar. The euro was left to battle its demons after Standard & Poor's downgraded Portugal's credit rating to BBB from A- while the leaders in Brussels till now did not disclose a concrete agreement on Portugal nor did they provide comprehensive confirmations for a bailout leaving the odds are a wide range.
The euro fell versus the dollar to strike the lows of 1.4109 and leaving the intraday high at 1.4193 and currently hovering around 1.4113.
Sterling was no different and surrendered the gains to the strong dollar which is supported by the mixed sentiment, prevailing uncertainty, and also recovering off lows on profit taking and position squaring with the week coming to its end. The GBPUSD fell from intraday highs of 1.6140 and now back to the sensitive areas around 1.6062 slightly off lows at 1.6050.