What’s next for the euro after slump against dollar?
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
The European single currency sank to $0.9952 on July 14- a level not seen since the end of 2002, the year it was officially introduced.But traders believe the euro could recover, provided it clears several hurdles in the coming months.
The first to get over is to avoid the risk of a halt in Russian gas supplies to Europe, which would cause electricity prices to soar and force eurozone countries to limit some industrial activity.
With Russian gas giant Gazprom having warned it cannot guarantee that the pipeline will function properly, European countries fear that Moscow will use a technical reason to permanently halt deliveries and put pressure on them.
If Nord Stream 1 “doesn’t turn back on, the euro falls as the economic shock waves will be felt worldwide as the European energy crisis could very well trigger a recession,” warned Stephen Innes, an analyst at SPI Asset Management.
“Recession would inevitably mean that the market becomes even more concerned about fragmentation risks in the eurozone,” added Jane Foley, a foreign exchange specialist at Rabobank.
Like other central banks, the European Central Bank (ECB) is seeking to avoid stifling the economy by raising rates too sharply.
The ECB has so far maintained an ultra-loose monetary policy to support the economy, while the U.S. Federal Reserve has instead raised rates and promises to continue to do so to counter inflation.
It will announce its monetary policy decision on July 21, and has indicated that it will raise rates for the first time in 11 years.
“If the ECB is aiming to give the euro a boost, it will have to deliver a 50-bp hike in July and/or signal that 75-bp moves are on the cards for September,” S&P analysts said in a note.
For economists at Berenberg, the euro’s fall is more attributable to the strength of the dollar, which has “appreciated strongly against a broad basket of currencies since mid-2021”.
The dollar has benefited from the Fed’s tightening of monetary policy as it tries to limit inflation, which hit record highs again in June.
“Markets are speculating that the Fed may raise rates by 100bp instead of 75bp at its next meeting on 27 July,” noted Berenberg.
“If so, this could strengthen the dollar further.”