Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Daily Forex Brief London: Wednesday 30th May 2012

Assets prices were not unlike a volcano yesterday – all quiet on top, but a bubbling cauldron of fire and friction underneath. Although most now accept that the end is nigh for Greece in terms of continuing participation in the eurozone, events in Spain are moving so incredibly quickly that the centre of global systemic risk has now shifted indelibly to Madrid. Yesterday's news that retail sales in Spain collapsed by 16% in real terms in the year to April confirmed that this is another European economy in freefall. Almost everywhere you look in southern Europe the news is disturbing. Unsurprisingly, confidence in the single currency continues to ebb away; the euro dropped to a new 2yr low of 1.2457 overnight. In the month of May alone, the euro has fallen by almost 6%. Once more it is the dollar and the yen that are winning the forex popularity contest, while G4 bonds continue to set new record lows in yield. Gold is still really struggling (see below for a more detailed discussion) – it fell to USD 1,545 overnight. Oil prices are still plunging, providing further evidence that global demand has waned markedly in the current quarter. Brent crude fell below USD 107 last night, a fall of almost USD 20 in less than two months. That old investment adage 'sell in May and go away' has once again been remarkably prescient.

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