US$ falls below ¥100, crude goes above $110/bbl

The US$ had now fallen through the ¥102 level, which has held since 1995, and went straight to the psychologically important ¥100 level. The dollar peaked 9 months ago at ¥124, and so it has now fallen 19%. This is dramatic by any standards. I forecast back in November that an ‘old-fashioned currency crisis’ could be just around the corner. With the dollar falling against both the yen and the euro, I think this crisis has probably now arrived.

My other recent forecast, that crude would hit $110/bbl, has taken only a week to occur. Yet a month ago, crude was ‘only’ $90/bbl. Part of the rise was caused by speculators having to unwind short positions, but there is also increasing interest in call options at $150/bbl. I have even heard people talking seriously about the chance that $200/bbl could be seen before the end of the year. As I commented after the OPEC meeting, we are now ‘in uncharted and potentially dangerous territory’.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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