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Thread: Factors Affecting the US Dollar

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    Default Factors Affecting the US Dollar

    Factors Affecting the US Dollar


    Key Fundamentals Impacting the U.S. Dollar
    Federal Reserve Bank (Fed):
    The U.S. Central Bank has full independence in setting monetary policy to achieve maximum non-inflationary growth. The Feds chief policy signals are: open market operations, the Discount Rate and the Fed Funds rate.

    Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC):
    The FOMC is responsible for making decisions on monetary policy, including the crucial interest rate announcements it makes 8 times a year. The 12-member committee is made up of 7 members of the Board of Governors; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; while the remaining four seats carry one-year term each, in a rotating selection of the presidents of the 11 other Reserve Banks.

    FOMC Voting Members in 2003
    Alan Greenspan, Board of Governors, Chairman
    Timothy Geithner, New York
    Ben Bernanke, Board of Governors
    Susan Schmidt Bies, Board of Governors
    Roger Ferguson, Board of Governors
    Edward Gramlich, Board of Governors
    Donald Kohn, Board of Governors
    Mark W. Olson, Board of Governors
    Robert McTeer, Dallas
    Anthony Santomero, Philadelphia
    Gary Stern, Minneapolis
    Alfred Broaddus, Richmond
    Michael Moscow, Chicago
    Jack Guynn, Atlanta
    Robert Parry, San Francisco

    Alternate Members
    Sandra Pianalto, Cleveland
    Thomas Hoenig, Kansas City
    Cathy Minehan, Boston
    William Poole, St. Louis

    Interest Rates:
    Fed Funds Rate: Clearly the most important interest rate. It is the rate that depositary institutions charge each other for overnight loans. The Fed announces changes in the Fed Funds rate when it wishes to send clear monetary policy signals. These announcements normally have large impact on all stock, bond and currency markets.

    Discount Rate:
    The interest rate at which the Fed charges commercial banks for emergency liquidity purposes. Although this is more of a symbolic rate, changes in it imply clear policy signals. The Discount Rate is almost always less than the Fed Funds Rate.

    10-year Treasury Note:
    Since isuance of the 30-year Treasury Bond was discontinued in October 2001, the 10-year Treasury note has become the benchmark, or the bellwether treasury instrument for long term interest rates. It is the most important indicator of markets، expectations on inflation. Markets most commonly use the yield (rather than price) when referring to the level of the bond. As in all bonds, the yield on the 10-year treasury is inversely related to the price. There is no clear-cut relation between the long bond and the US dollar. But the following relation usually holds: A fall in the value of the bond (rise in the yield) due to inflationary concerns may pressure the dollar. These concerns could arise from strong economic data.
    Nonetheless, as the supply of 30-year bonds began to shrink following the US Treasury's refunding operations (buy back its debt), the 30-year bond's role as a benchmark had gradually given way to its 10-year counterpart.

    Depending on the stage of the economic cycle, strong economic data could have varying impacts on the dollar. In an environment where inflation is not a threat, strong economic data may boost the dollar. But at times when the threat of inflation (higher interest rates) is most urgent, strong data normally hurt the dollar, by means of the resulting sell-off in bonds.

    Being a benchmark asset-class, the 10-year note is normally impacted by shifting capital flows triggered by global considerations. Financial/political turmoil in emerging markets could be a possible booster for US treasuries due to their safe nature, thereby, helping the dollar.

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    3-month Eurodollar Deposits:
    Eurodollar deposits are bank accounts deposited in a country other than the country of the currency. Ex: Japanese Yen accounts deposited outside Japan are called "Euroyen". Similarly, euro-denominated accounts deposited outside the Eurozone are called "EuroEuros". The interest rate on 3-month dollar-denominated deposits held in banks outside the US. It serves as a valuable benchmark for determining interest rate differentials to help estimate exchange rates. To illustrate USD/JPY as a theoretical example, the greater the interest rate differential in favor of the eurodollar against the euroyen deposit, the more likely USD/JPY will receive a boost. Sometimes, this relation does not hold due to the confluence of other factors.

    10-year yields:
    FX markets usually refer to the 10-year note when comparing its yield with that on similar bonds overseas, namely the Euro (German 10-year bund), Japan (10-year JGB) and the UK (10-year gilt). The spread differential (difference in yields) between the yield on 10-year US Treasury note and that on non US bonds, impacts the exchange rate. A higher US yield usually benefits the US dollar against foreign currencies.

    Treasury:
    The US Treasury is responsible for issuing government debt and for making decisions on the fiscal budget. The Treasury has no say in monetary policy, but its statements on the dollar have an major influence on the currency. The Key Treasury Officials are:
    John Snow: Treasury Secretary
    Deputy Secretary Still Vacant
    John Taylor: Undersecretary of International Affairs

    Economic Data:
    The most important economic data items released in the US are: labor report (payrolls, unemployment rate and average hourly earnings), CPI, PPI, GDP, international trade, ECI, NAPM, productivity, industrial production, housing starts, housing permits and consumer confidence.

    Stock Market:
    The three major stock indices are the Dow Jones Industrials Index (Dow), S&P 500, and NASDAQ. The Dow is the most influential index on the dollar. Since the mid-1990's, the index has shown a strong positive correlation with the greenback as foreign investors purchased US equities. Three major forces affect the Dow: 1) Corporate earnings, forecast and actual; 2) Interest rate expectations and; 3) Global considerations. Consequently, these factors channel their way through the dollar.

    Cross Rate Effect:
    The dollar’s value against one currency is sometimes impacted by another currency pair (exchange rate) that may not involve the dollar. To illustrate, a sharp rise in the yen against the euro (falling EUR/JPY) could cause a general decline in the euro, including a fall in EUR/USD.

    Fed Funds Rate Futures Contract:
    Interest rate expectations can be made through the Fed Funds rate in the futures market. The contract’s value shows what the Fed Funds interest rate (overnight rate) is expected to be in the future, depending on the maturity of the contract. Hence, the contract is a valuable barometer of market expectation vis-?vis Federal Reserve policy. The rate is obtained by substracting the contract’s value from 100, and comparing the result to the prevailing Fed Funds rate in the cash/spot market.

    3-month Eurodollar Futures Contract:
    While the Fed Funds futures contract reflects Fed Funds rate expectations into the future, the 3-month Eurodollar contract does the same for the interest rate on 3-month eurodollar deposits. To illustrate, the difference between futures contracts on the 3-month eurodollar and euroyen deposits is an essential variable in determining USD/JPY expectations.

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    Factors Affecting EUR/USD
    The Eurozone:
    The 12 countries that have adopted the euro in order of GDP: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg and Greece.

    European Central Bank:
    Controls monetary policy for the eurozone. The decision making body is the Governing Council, which consists of the Executive Board and the governors of the national central banks. The Executive Board consists of the ECB President, Vice-President, and four other members:
    ECB President, Wim Duisenberg (Netherlands)
    Vice President, Lucas Papademos (Greece)
    Board Member (Chief Economist), Otmar Issing (Germany)
    Board Member, Tomasso Padoa-Schioppa (Italy)
    Board Member, Eugenio Domingo Solans (Spain)
    Board Member, Sirkka Hamalainen (Finland)

    Selected National Central Bank Governors:
    Germany: Ernst Welteke
    France: Jean-Claude Trichet
    Italy: Antonio Fazio

    ECB Policy Targets:
    The ECB has a primary objective of price stability. It has two main "pillars" of monetary policy. The first one is the outlook for price developments and risks to price stability. Price stability is defined as an increase of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) of below 2%. While the HICP is very important, a broad number of indicators and forecasts are used to determine the medium term threat to price stability. The second pillar is monetary growth as measured by M3. The ECB has a "reference value" of 4.5% annual growth for M3.
    The ECB holds a Council meeting every other Thursday to make announcements on interest rates. At each first meeting of the month, the ECB holds a press conference in which it gives its outlook on monetary policy and the economy as a whole.


    Interest Rates:
    The ECB’s refinancing rate is the Bank’s key short-term interest rate used for managing liquidity. The difference between the refinancing rate and the US Fed Funds rate is a good indicator for the EUR/USD.
    3-month Eurodeposit (Euribor):

    Eurodollar deposits are bank accounts deposited in a country other than the country of the currency. Ex: Japanese Yen accounts deposited outside Japan are called "Euroyen". Similarly, euro-denominated accounts deposited outside the Eurozone are called "EuroEuros". The interest rate on 3-month Euribor, deposits held in banks outside the Eurozone. It serves as a valuable benchmark for determining interest rate differentials to help estimate exchange rates. Using a theoretical example on EUR/USD, the greater the interest rate differential in favor of the euribor against the eurodollar deposit, the more likely EUR/USD is to rise. Sometimes, this relation does not hold due to the confluence of other factors.

    10-Year Government Bonds:
    Another important driver of the EUR/$ exchange rate is the difference in interest rates between the US and Eurozone. The German 10-year Bund is normally used as the benchmark. Since the rate on the 10-year Bund is below that of the US 10-year note, a narrowing of the spread (i.e. rise in Germany yields or fall in US yields or both) is theoretically expected to favor the EUR/$ rate. A widening in the spread, will act against the exchange rate. So the 10-year US-German spread is a good number to be aware of. The trend in this number is usually more important than the absolute value. The interest rate differential, of course, is usually related to the growth outlook of the US and eurozone, which is another fundamental driver of the exchange rate.

    Finance Ministers:
    Germany: Hans Eichel, who took over when his more left-wing predecessor, Oskar Lafontaine, resigned in March 1999.
    France: Christian Sautter replaced Dominique Strauss-Khan who resigned in November 1999.
    Italy: Finance Minister Vicenzo Visco, Treasury and Budget Minister Giuliano Amato.

    Economic Data:
    The most important economic data is from Germany, the largest economy, and from the euro-wide statistics, still in their infancy. The key data are usually GDP, inflation (CPI and HICP), Industrial Production, and Unemployment. From Germany in particular, a key piece of data is the IFO survey, which is a widely watched indicator of business confidence. Also important are the budget deficits of the individual countries, which according to the Stability and Growth Pact, must be kept below 3% of GDP. Countries also have targets for reducing their deficits further, and failure to meet these targets will likely be detrimental to the euro (as we saw with Italy’s loosening of its budget deficit guidelines).

    Cross Rate Effect:
    The EUR/$ exchange rate is sometimes impacted by movements in cross exchange rates (non-dollar exchange rates) such as EUR/JPY or EUR/JPY. To illustrate: EUR/USD could fall as a result of significantly positive news in Japan, that filters through a falling EUR/JPY rate. Even though, $/JPY may be declining, euro weakness spills onto a falling EUR/USD.

    3-month Euro Futures Contract (Euribor):
    The contract reflects markets expectations on 3-month euro-Euro deposits (euribor) into the future. The difference between futures contracts on the 3-month cash eurodollar and on the euro-Euro deposit is an essential variable in determining EUR/USD expectations.

    Other Indicators:
    There is a strong negative correlation between EUR/USD and USD/CHF, reflecting a steadily similar relation between the euro and the Swiss franc. This is because the Swiss economy is largely dependent upon the Eurozone economies. In most cases, a spike (dip) in EUR/USD is accompanied by a dip (spike) in EUR/CHF. The inverse also usually holds. This relationship sometimes fails to hold in the event of data or factors pertaining solely to either of the currencies.

    Political Factors:
    As with all exchange rates, EUR/USD is susceptible to political instability such as a threat to coalition governments in France, Germany or Italy. Political or financial instability in Russia is also a red flag for EUR/USD, because of the substantial amount of Germany investment directed to Russia.

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    Factors Affecting USD/JPY
    Ministry of Finance:
    The MoF is the single most important political and monetary institution in Japan. Its influence in guiding the currency is more significant than the ministries of finance of the US, UK or Germany, despite the gradual measures to decentralize decision-making. MoF officials often make statements regarding the economy that have notable impacts on the yen. These statements include verbal intervention aimed at avoiding undesirable appreciation/depreciation of the yen. Key officials most likely to move the market are the following:
    Masajuro Shiokawa, Finance Minister
    Haruhiko Kuroda, Vice-Minister for International Affairs
    Zembei Mizoguchi, Head of MoF’s International Bureau
    Eisuke Sakakibara, Former Vice-Minister of International Aaffairs. Also dubbed as "Mr. Yen" for his ability to move the currency with his statements. Although Mr. Kuroda has succeeded him, Mr. Sakakibara can still come forward and give market-moving statements.


    Bank of Japan (BoJ).
    In 1998, Japan passed new laws giving the central Bank (BoJ) operational independence from the government (MoF). While complete control over monetary policy has shifted to the BoJ, the MoF remains in charge of foreign exchange policy.
    Toshihiko Fukui: BoJ Governor.


    Interest Rates:
    The Overnight Call Rate is the key short-term interbank rate. The call rate is controlled by the BoJ’s open market operations designed to manage liquidity. The BoJ uses the call rate to signal monetary policy changes, which impact the currency.

    Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs):
    The BoJ buys 10 and 20-year JGBs every month to inject liquidity into the monetary system. The yield on the benchmark 10-year JGB serves as key indicator of long-term interest rates. The spread, or the difference between 10-year JGB yields and those on US 10-year treasury notes, is an important driver of the USD/JPY exchange rates. Falling JGBs (rising JGB yields) usually boost the yen and impact USD/JPY.

    Agency of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy:
    Officially replaces powerful Economic Planning Agency (EPA) on January 6, 2001. Agency responsible for formulating economic planning programs and coordinating economic policies including employment, international trade and foreign exchange.
    Heizo Takenaka: Minister


    Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI):
    The once influential Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has been renamed to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It is the Government institution aimed at supporting the interests of Japanese industry and defending international trade competitiveness of Japanese corporations. METI’s power and visibility is not as significant as it used to be in the 1980s and early 1990s, when US-Japan trade issues were the "hottest" topics in FX markets.
    Takeo Hiranuma: Minister

    Economic Data:
    The most important economic data items from Japan are: GDP; Tankan survey (quarterly business sentiment and expectations survey); international trade; unemployment; industrial production and money supply (M2+CDs).

    Nikkei-225:
    Japan’s leading stock index. A reasonable decline in the yen usually lifts stocks of export-oriented companies, which tends to boost the overall stock index. The Nikkei-yen relationship is sometimes reversed, wherein a strong open market in the Nikkei tends to boost the yen (weighs on USD/JPY) as investors’ funds flow into yen-denominated stocks.

    Cross Rate Effect:
    The USD/JPY exchange rate is sometimes impacted by movements in cross exchange rates (non-dollar exchange rates) such as EUR/JPY. To illustrate: A rising USD/JPY (rising dollar and a falling yen) could be a result of an appreciating EUR/JPY, rather than direct strength in the dollar. This rise in the cross rate could be highlighted due to contrasting sentiment between Japan and the Eurozone.
    Another example: Both EUR/JPY and EUR/USD rally because of a general strengthening in the euro. For some particular factors (such as better prospects in Japan), this could have a larger impact on the dollar than it does on the yen. As a result, USD/JPY weakens since the yen is relatively less hurt by the appreciating euro.

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    Factors Affecting GBP/USD (Cable)
    Bank of England (BoE):
    Under the Bank of England Act of June 1997, the BoE obtained operational independence in setting monetary policy to deliver price stability and to support the government’s growth and employment objectives. The price stability objective is set by the government's inflation target, defined as 2.5% annual growth in Retail Prices Index excluding mortgages (RPI-X). Hence, despite its independence in setting monetary policy, the BoE remains dependent upon having to meet the inflation target set by the Treasury.

    Monetary Policy Committee(MPC):
    The BoE's Committee responsible for making decisions on interest rates. The Committee comprises of the following:
    Mervyn King, Central Bank Governor
    Andrew Large, Deputy Governor
    Rachel Lomax, Deputy Governor
    Charles Bean, Executive Director
    John Vickers, Executive Director
    Paul Tucker, Outside Expert
    Kate Barker, Outside Expert
    Marian Bell, Outside Expert
    Richard Lambert, Outside Expert


    Interest Rates:
    The Central Bank's main interest rate is the minimum lending rate (base rate), which it uses to send clear signals on monetary policy changes at the first week of every month. Changes in the base rate usually have a large impact on sterling. The BoE also sets monetary policy through its daily market operations used to change the dealing rates at which it buys government bills from discount houses (specialized institutions in trading money market instruments).
    Gilts:
    Government bonds known as gilt-edged securities. The spread differential (difference in yields) between the yield on the 10-year gilt and that on the 10-year US Treasury note usually impacts the exchange rate. The spread differential between gilts and German bunds is also important, as it impacts the EUR/GBP exchange rate, which could affect GBP/USD (see cross-rate effect).

    3-month Eurosterling Deposits:
    Eurodollar deposits are bank accounts deposited in a country other than the country of the currency. Ex: Japanese Yen accounts deposited outside Japan are called "Euroyen". Similarly, euro-denominated accounts deposited outside the Eurozone are called "EuroEuros". The interest rate on 3-month sterling-denominated deposits held in banks outside the UK. It serves as a valuable benchmark for determining interest rate differentials to help estimate exchange rates. Using a theoretical example on GBP/USD, the greater the interest rate differential in favor of the eurodollar against the eurosterling deposit, the more likely GBP/USD is to fall. Sometimes, this relation does not hold due to the confluence of other factors.

    Treasury:
    The Treasury's role in setting monetary policy diminished markedly since the Bank of England Act of June 1997. Yet, the Treasury still sets the inflation target for the BoE and makes key appointments at the Central Bank.
    Gordon Brown: Chancellor of the Exchequer (Head of Treasury).


    Sterling and EMU Membership:
    British Prime Minister Tony Blair often impacts the sterling when he makes vital references regarding Britain’s possible membership into the single European currency, the euro. In order for Britain to join the single currency, UK interest rates will have to converge down to the levels of the Eurozone. If the British people vote in favor of adopting the euro (vote expected after 2001), the sterling will have to decline against the euro so as to achieve sufficient trade advantage for British industry. Thus, any signs (speeches, remarks or polls) indicating a closer UK to the euro, is expected to have a downward impact on the sterling.

    Economic Data:
    The most important economic data items released in the UK are: Claimant unemployment (number of unemployed); claimant unemployment rate; average earnings; RPI-X; retail sales; PPI; industrial production; GDP growth; purchasing managers; surveys (manufacturing and services); money supply (M4); balance of payments and housing prices.

    3-month Eurosterling Futures Contract (short sterling):
    The contract reflects markets expectations on 3-month euro sterling into the future. The difference between futures contracts on the 3-month eurodollar and eurosterling deposits is an essential variable in determining GBP/USD expectations.

    FTSE-100:
    Britain's leading stock index. Unlike in the US or Japan, Britain's main stock index has relatively less influence on the currency. Nevertheless, the positive correlation between the FTSE-100 and the Dow Jones Industrial Index is one of the strongest in the global markets.

    Cross Rate Effect:
    GBP/USD is sometimes impacted by movements in cross exchange rates (non-dollar exchange rates) such as EUR/GBP. To illustrate: A rise in EUR/GBP (fall in sterling) - triggered by strengthening expectations of UK membership into the euro - could lead to a decline in GBP/USD (cable). Conversely, reports indicating that the UK may not join the single currency project will hurt the EUR/GBP, thereby boosting cable.

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    Factors Affecting USD/CHF
    Swiss National Bank (SNB):
    The Swiss Central Bank has maximum independence in setting monetary and exchange rate policy. Unlike most Central banks, the SNB does not use a specific money market rate to guide monetary conditions. Until fall 1999, the Bank used foreign exchange swaps and repurchase agreements as the main instruments to impact money supply and interest rates.
    Liquidity management has characteristically affected the Swiss franc due to the use of Foreign Exchange Swaps. If the Bank wishes to inject liquidity, it buys foreign currency (primarily dollars) against Swiss francs, thereby pressuring the currency.

    As of December 1999, the Bank shifted from a monetarist approach (targeting money supply) to an inflation-based approach namely; a 2.00% annual inflation rate. The Bank will use a range in the 3-month London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) to stir monetary policy in order to achieve the 2.00% inflation target.

    SNB officials can affect the Swiss Franc by making occasional remarks on liquidity, money supply or the currency itself. Here are the key SNB officials:

    Jean-Pierre Roth: Chairman
    Bruno Gehrig: Vice Chairman
    Niklaus Blattner: Member of Governing Board


    Interest Rates:
    The SNB uses the discount rate to announce changes in monetary policy. These changes have a significant impact on the currency. The discount rate, however, is rarely used at the Bank’s discount facility.

    3-month Euroswissfranc Deposits:
    Eurodollar deposits are bank accounts deposited in a country other than the country of the currency. Ex: Japanese Yen accounts deposited outside Japan are called "Euroyen". Similarly, euro-denominated accounts deposited outside the Eurozone are called "EuroEuros". The interest rate on 3-month swiss-denominated deposits held in banks outside Switzerland. It serves as a valuable benchmark for determining interest rate differentials to help estimate exchange rates. Using a theoretical example on USD/CHF, the greater the interest rate differential in favor of the eurodollar against the euroswiss deposit, the more likely USD/CHF is to rise. Sometimes, this relation does not hold due to the confluence of other factors.

    Swiss franc’s Changing Role as a Safe-Haven Status:
    The Swiss franc has historically enjoyed an advantageous role as a "safe" asset due to: SNB independence in preserving monetary stability; secrecy of the nation’s banking system; and the neutrality of Switzerland’s political position. Moreover, the SNB’s relatively hefty gold reserves had largely contributed to the franc’s solidity. Even as the currency’s international role starts to wane in the mid-1990s (partly due to the emergence of the dollar and fall in gold), the Swiss franc remains a valuable alternative in Forex markets.

    Economic Data:
    The most important economic data items released in Switzerland are: M3 (broadest measure of money supply), CPI, unemployment, balance of payments, GDP and industrial production.

    Cross Rate Effect:
    USD/CHF is sometimes impacted by movements in cross exchange rates (non-dollar exchange rates), such as EUR/CHF or GBP/CHF. To illustrate: A rise in GBP/CHF that is triggered by an interest rate hike in the UK, could extend franc’s weakness against other currencies, including the dollar.

    3-month Euroswiss Futures Contract:
    The contract reflects markets expectations on 3-month euro swiss deposits into the future. The difference between futures contracts on the 3-month eurodollar and euroswiss eposits is an essential variable in determining USD/CHF expectations.

    Other factors:
    Due to the proximity of the Swiss economy to the Eurozone (specifically Germany), the Swiss franc has exhibited a considerably positive correlation with the euro. The relationship is most prominent in the highly negative correlation between USD/CHF and EUR/USD. To illustrate, a sudden move in EUR/USD (triggered by a major fundamental factor) is most likely to cause an equally sharp move in USD/CHF in the opposite direction. The relationship between these two currency pairs is one the strongest in currency markets.

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    i want to ask please,
    when some USD news drive the dollar more week what is the eefect on GBP/JPY? does it go up or down?

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