Currency FX: Merkel Helps The Euro
August 27, 2012
Equity markets fell last week, but the euro and the yen managed to stay in the black as German Chancellor Angela Merkel implored investors to give Greece the space it needs to carry out its austerity measures. The Japanese yen meanwhile got a flight-to-safety bid, as it often has since the financial crisis reared its head four years ago.
IndexUniverse ETF Analyst Ugo Egbunike visited with IndexUniverse.com Managing Editor Olivier Ludwig to touch on some of last week’s more notable currency movements, spelled out in full in our weekly Currency Report.
Ludwig: So what were the biggest currency issues in the past week?
Egbunike: It has to be with the euro and the yen.
Ludwig: So let’s talk about Europe.
Egbunike: Sure. So Merkel was trying to give the market a break from all the focus on Greece not being able to meet its obligations. She basically said all the talking was adding to the possibility of a “Grexit.” By talking, she was limiting all the negative focus on Greece’s struggles.
Ludwig: And in so doing, was turning the scenario euro-bullish and helping the currency gain against the dollar.
Egbunike: Exactly. So, U.S. investors in Europe, despite losses in many local markets, were able to actually break even and even come out ahead.
Ludwig: Let’s turn to Japan.
Egbunike: Well, the yen was a flight-to-quality play as the markets were weak overall. U.S. investors were basically able to break even though local markets fell about 1 percent.
Ludwig: So this is just another example that no matter what is going on in Japanese equities, the yen seems to retain this safe-haven quality?
Ludwig: As indexers, we don’t exactly talk about having crystal balls, but what are you looking at in the week ahead as one area of interest?
Egbunike: Well, Europe. Merkel talking is one thing, but Greece being able to actually achieve its fiscal goals is another.
Ludwig: And Greece does have success that’s dollar-bullish, and if it doesn’t, that’s dollar-bearish?
Egbunike: That’s it.
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