Yesterday's talk of intervention faded overnight, with the major central bank action coming in the EUR/CHF pair. Today, the focus returns to concerns about global growth in an environment of a major debt crisis in the Euro-zone, sliding equities around the world, and investor confidence rattled by steps such as the naked short selling ban in Germany that is increasing uncertainty.
The main benefactor in this environment are safe-haven currencies like the Yen and US Dollar, while the major losers are the resources or commodity-linked currencies like the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Dollars. While there is still major concern surrounding the Euro, the focus may be shifting to the ramifications of austerity measures that can cut into Euro-zone growth and work their way into weaker global trade.
Since the economies of Australia, Canada, and others are closely linked to global growth prospects, news that the global recovery may short circuit is hurting the fundamentals for those economies. Commodity prices have come under pressure adding to the bearish sentiment around those countries' currencies.
The uncertainty in financial markets is also causing liquidation of carry trade. Carry trade refers to investors that borrow in a currency with a low interest rate, such as the Yen, and park that money in a higher yielding country like Australia. However, the difference made can be easily eroded if exchange rates move too dramatically.
In today's trading the Australian Dollar lost more than 2.6% against the greenback and the Canadian Dollar was off 2%.
We can see that the pace of declines in the AUD/USD pair has picked up the last two sessions, after breaking below the 0.87 level which was our love following the Flash Crash events of May 6th.
The USD/CAD which has been moving higher since testing the 1.01 level in the middle of last week, has shot back up to the 1.07 level in today's trading. Yesterday, the pair moved above 1.04, retested that resistance level as support and in today's environment of money flowing out of the commodity currencies, we saw the pair retest its highs from May 6th.
Adding to the negative market sentiment at the NY open was a disappointing reading for US weekly jobless claims, as the number of workers filing for new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly surged last week to wipe out most of the recent improvement.
Investors also are waiting to see if any other countries join Germany's ban on certain types of speculative investments, with the uncertainty weighing on the Euro. There were also comments overnight from the Eurogroup Chairmand and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker, that while there was concern about the rapid pace of decline in the Euro, that a weaker currency could have some benefits. A weaker currency can help to stimulate export growth at a time when austerity measures are sure to cut into the recovery of the Euro-zone nations.