Dollar Strengthens as Oil and Equity Markets Slide Lower

Even though the lack of meaningful US economic data has kept the US dollar in flux, there is one commodity that is continuing to grind lower. Oil prices fell to the lowest level in 20 months as exporters wake up to reality that crude prices may stay at current levels for some time.

For the currency market, the decline in oil prices is bullish for the US Dollar, and Japanese Yen but bearish for the Euro and Canadian dollar. The weakness of US stocks will also add pressure on high yielding currencies Since the beginning of the year, there has been a 70 percent positive correlation between the EUR/USD and the price of oil.

With the fear of weakening global demand keeping oil prices under pressure, OPEC nations are starting to realize that production cuts may not be the answer. The strong rise in commodity prices that we have seen throughout 2006 and into the summer of 2008 was driven by the frothy expectations that the global economy will continue to expand at a healthy pace. That of course has been proved to be false.

Now that oil prices have dropped more than 50% since the summer and have refused to recover, oil exporters have resorted to hedging their oil exports at sub-$100 levels. The front page story in the Financial Times today talks about how Mexico, the world’s sixth largest oil producer is hedging nearly all of next year’s oil exports. This is a clear sign that they fear oil prices will remain below $70 a barrel in 2009. Even though the report only talks about Mexico, we doubt that they are the only oil producing country to start hedging.

In order to hedge against a drop in oil prices, oil producers need to enter into derivative contracts that basically involve selling oil prices forward.


Photo: GFT Dealbook

About Kathy Lien 236 Articles

Kathy Lien is an Internationally Published Author and Chief Strategist of, one of the world’s most popular online websites for currency research. Her trading books include the highly acclaimed, Day Trading the Currency Market: Technical and Fundamental Strategies to Profit form Market Swings (2005, Wiley); High Probability Trading Setups for the Currency Market E-Book (2006, Investopedia); and Millionaire Traders: How Everyday People Are Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game (2007, Wiley). As Chief Currency Strategist at FXCM, Kathy is responsible for providing research and analysis for DailyFX, the research arm of FXCM. She also co-edits the BK Forex Advisor, an Premium Service with Boris Schlossberg – one of the few investment advisory letters focusing strictly on the 2 Trillion/day FX market.

Kathy is also one of the authors of Investopedia’s Forex Education section and has written for, the Asia Times Online, Stocks & Commodities Magazine, MarketWatch, ActiveTrader Magazine, Currency Trader, Futures Magazine and SFO. She is frequently quoted by Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, CBS and Bloomberg Radio. She has also hosted trader chats on EliteTrader, eSignal and FXStreet, sharing her expertise in both technical and fundamental analysis.

Visit: Kathy Lien

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.