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

Currencies, Economic growth, Futures trading, Oil markets
By Paul Hodges on 13-Mar-2008

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’.