*ECB disappoints bears, euro seen rising to $1.40. LONDON, March 7- The euro raced to a 2-1/ 2 year high against the dollar on Friday as short term money market rates rose on signs that the European Central Bank's balance sheet was contracting at a time when other major central banks were still expanding theirs.» Read More
The two negative market trends are feeding on each other and creating double trouble for US consumers and the economy.
The dollar retreated against most major currencies Monday, reversing some recent strong gains ahead of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate cut this week.
The dollar rose against the yen Friday, as a slightly-above-forecast jobs report eased was seen reducing the chance of an aggressive interest rate cut.
The euro rose against the dollar and the yen on Thursday after the European Central Bank left interest rates on hold but President Jean-Claude Trichet warned of "strong upward pressure" on inflation.
The European Central Bank kept rates on hold at 4 percent as expected on Thursday, bucking a global trend of monetary easing amid increased turmoil in the financial markets.
The Bush Administration's plan to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure is the big item on the agenda for Thursday. The plan, already drawing criticism, will be announced by the president in the afternoon and is expected to include a five-year freeze on the resetting of some of the low introductory, teaser rates that drew in many of the weakest borrowers.
The dollar rose to a one-month high against a basket of currencies Wednesday after reports showing robust job growth and productivity gains suggested a milder slowdown in the U.S. economy than many had thought.
With major central banks cutting rates right and left, the European Central Bank risks being the only one fighting the monetary-easing trend. But there seems to be no other option for the ECB.
Verbal intervention to try to stop the euro's advance is all that exporters will get for the moment, but if the going gets tough things may change, analysts say.
Selling in the financial sector bit into Tuesday's stock market performance and could do the same Wednesday. After the bell Tuesday, Fannie Mae announced that it was issuing $7 billion in preferred stock and chopping its dividend by 30 percent.
The yen rose against the dollar and higher-yielding currencies for a second day, with investors shying away from risky assets amid deepening concerns over the credit turmoil and tightening liquidity.
The yen gained broadly Monday as investors cut exposure to risky carry trades amid expectations of widening financial sector losses tied to the U.S. subprime mortgage market.
The dollar surged against a basket of major currencies Friday and was on track for its biggest weekly gain in more than a year on profit-taking in the euro and month-end squaring up of positions by corporates.
German retail sales posted their steepest decline in October since a value-added tax increase sent them plunging at the start of the year, in a sign that consumers are increasingly worried about higher energy and food prices.
The dollar rallied against most major currencies Thursday, buoyed by demand from U.S. corporations seeking to square their books by the end of the month.
The bad news that was scaring the markets has, for now, become the good news. Remember Monday. Things were dire. The major stock indexes were in a tailspin, sinking to a level 10% from October's highs, technically a correction. But that's all changed, and in part it's because the markets are now convinced the Fed recognizes what ails it.
The dollar rallied to one-week highs against the euro, the yen and the Swiss franc Wednesday with investors betting the U.S. currency's recent slump to multiyear lows had gone too far.
China could be moving in the direction advocated by Europe of a stronger yuan, European officials said. The ECB and the People's Bank of China would set up a working group at once to examine currency issues.
The euro's rise against the yuan is largely a reflection of a sharp drop in the dollar, and the European Union should look to Washington to resolve the problem, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday.
Consumer confidence in Germany fell for the fourth consecutive month despite the end-of-the-year holiday season, driven by fears surrounding the strong euro and high prices, according to a survey released Wednesday.