The US dollar's fall is bringing a lot of nice round numbers into view.
First it was crude oil breaking through US$100 a barrel. Yesterday, it was US$1000 gold and the US dollar going below 100 yen. Parity with the Swiss franc and Australian dollar look like the next targets. From Bloomberg:
The dollar traded near a record low against the euro and close to the weakest level in 12 years versus the yen on concern widening losses in credit markets will further crimp U.S. economic growth...
The dollar traded at $1.5619 per euro as of 8:45 a.m. in Tokyo, after touching $1.5645 per euro yesterday, the weakest since the European currency's debut in 1999. The dollar traded at 100.73 yen, after touching 99.77 yen, the weakest level since October 1995. It traded at 1.0108 versus the Swiss franc from 1.0093 yesterday, when it slid to a record low of 1.0045 Swiss francs. The yen traded at 157.30 per euro from 157.35...
The Dollar Index traded on ICE Futures in New York, which compares the currency to those of six trading partners, fell to 71.914 from 72.072 yesterday, when it reached as low as 71.795. The dollar fetched $2.0328 per pound, after touching the weakest since December.
The decline in the world's reserve currency pushed gold above $1,000 an ounce for the first time yesterday as investors sought shelter in the metal.
Weak US retail sales reported yesterday won't help the US currency. From Bloomberg:
Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in February, indicating that declines in payrolls and home values and a surge in energy costs have pushed the economy into a recession.
Sales dropped 0.6 percent, led by auto dealers and restaurants, after a 0.4 percent gain in January, the Commerce Department said. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said jobless benefits rolls climbed to a 2 1/2-year high, and import prices soared 13.6 percent from a year ago, reflecting higher energy costs.
But economic growth is also weakening elsewhere. Although Japan's GDP grew at a better-than-expected annualised rate of 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter, industrial output fell a revised 2.2 percent in January from December.
And even China's industrial output has slowed, expanding by 15.4 percent in the first two months of 2008 from the same period a year ago compared to 18.5 percent for all of last year.