The US$ took a major tumble yesterday, as traders decided the Bear Stearns news meant there was little risk of central bank intervention. Against the Japanese yen it fell almost 2.5% during the day, closing at ¥97.35, as shown on the chart. It also fell 2% against the Swiss Franc to SwFr 0.98, and continues to hit new lows against the euro.
The $ is now at its weakest since 1971 on a trade-weighted basis. This will have a major impact on chemical company results:
Winners will be those who buy feedstocks in dollars, and sell in hard currencies such as the euro, yen or SwFr.
Losers will be those who buy in hard currencies, and sell in dollars
US exporters are likely to do well as a result. But one should expect to hear cries of real pain from the losers as Quarter 1 results are reported.