Risky Assets Tumbled amid Growth Concerns. Losses Pared as Euro Rebounded on Intervention Speculations

 @ibtimes
on May 21 2010 6:19 AM

Long liquidation of risky assets was the theme of yesterday, a day before German Parliamentary vote on the 750B euro Stabilization Fund. The euro initially reversed earlier gains to 1.23 against the dollar after Eurogroup Chairman Jean Claude Junker and the EU's Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said there's no need to intervene on the single currency slump. The last time central banks in Europe, the US and Japan jointly bought euro to arrest its decline was in 2000.

The shared currency rebounded later on short squeeze. Moreover, Germany and France pledge to coordinate actions to protect the currency. Certainly, SNB's sales of Swiss Franc also helped pushing the euro higher. SNB Vice Chairman Thomas Jordan said yesterday that 'the SNB has countered that pressure so that until now we haven't seen an excessive appreciation of the Swiss franc'. Though he had not admitted an intervention, price action suggested so.

US stocks were dump after initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose +25K to 471K last week. The market had anticipated a drop to 440K. The disappointing reading triggered worries over durability in US job market recovery. DJIA and S&P 500 fell -3.65 and -3.9% respectively.

Crude oil tumbled yesterday in tandem as US stocks took their deepest plunge in more than a year amid worries about global economic slowdown. WTI contract for June delivery, expired after market close Thursday, plummeted to a 1-year low at 64.24 before closing at 68.08, down -2.66%. The July contract also slid below 70 for the first time since February 2010 before closing at 70.8, down -2.32%.

Crude oil of all grades has been trading with great volatility recently. The sharp selloff from above 87 to below 70 in May versus stable trading above 80 in April demonstrated the abrupt change in sentiment towards economic outlook. In April, the market priced in a V shape economic recovery from recession and surge in oil demand while in May, investors began to worry about double dips in the economy as led by sovereign crisis in the Eurozone.

Gold extended weakness and settled at 1188.6 Thursday despite rise in risk aversion as investors took profits from gold to meet their margin calls. After surging to a record high of 1249.7 last week, the benchmark contract has been slipping. Currently trading at 1175, the yellow metal has corrected -6% of recent rally.

PGMs got hammered as risk of global economic slowdown should hurt demand autocatalytic converters. Comex contracts for platinum slumped -6.84% yesterday and close at 1495.8. The selloff has clearly not ended as price continued to plunge, to as low as 1450 in Asian session today. Palladium tumbled -11% Thursday after a -9.33% decline on the prior day. Today in Asian session, palladium broke below 400, the first time since February 2010, before rebounding.

Share this article

More News from IBT MEDIA