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SCA has Moved
Stevens County Assembly has a new website at: www.StevensCountyAssembly.com. Republic Assembly (RepublicAssembly.com) will continue to be an education website; will now focus more on National issues. Whereas, the new Stevens County Assembly website (www.StevensCountyAssembly.com) will be more Stevens County and Washington orientated.
(UK Guardian) Ben Bernanke, chairman of Federal Reserve, expected to maintain
loose monetary policy.
The US dollar has fallen to new lows against other major currencies, undermined by predictions that the US would continue to resist pressure to raise interest rates.
In early trading, the dollar dropped to its weakest level ever against the Swiss franc, having touched a record low against the Australian dollar overnight. It also hit a four-week low against the yen, while the dollar index, which measures it against a basket of rival currencies, was close to its lowest level since August 2008.
The fall came a few hours ahead of the start of the Federal Reserve's monthly two-day meeting to set monetary policy.
City experts believe that this will be a defining week for the dollar. Ben
Bernanke, chairman of the Fed, will for the first time hold a press conference
on Wednesday evening immediately after the Federal open market committee has
voted. Traders expect no change to the Fed's current loose monetary position.
"The market will, as usual, be hanging off every word from Bernanke," said Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank. "There is a small risk that the Fed will toughen its stance on inflation, but in the absence of this, loose monetary policy in the US is likely to continue to weigh on the dollar at least for the remainder of the year."
The critical US interest rate has been pegged at a record low of 0% to 0.25% since December 2008. The Fed is pushing ahead with its second quantitative easing (QE) programme – buying up government and corporate bonds with freshly created money in an effort to stimulate the economy.
Joshua Raymond of City Index predicted the dollar could strengthen rapidly if the Fed indicates that it will speed up its QE exit strategy.
But with eurozone interest rates having been raised this month, there are concerns around the US's more relaxed approach to the risk of inflation. Standard & Poor's threat last week to cut America's triple-A credit rating has focused attention on its swelling deficit. There are also fears that its recovery from recession is running out of steam. Preliminary US GDP data for the first three months of 2011 will be released on Thursday, and is expected to show that growth slowed.
Uwe Parpart, Cantor Fitzgerald's chief economist in Asia, is concerned that global economic growth remains weak. He also fears that world stock markets have been driven higher by the Fed's policy of effectively creating more dollars though QE.
Parpart warned: "While stock markets globally have had bull runs since March 2009 thanks to excess dollar liquidity, certainly global economic performance has not, and as global growth slows under the impact of higher interest rates, even US investors will have to ask themselves if [dollar] printing press-enabled stock market valuations will be sustainable when liquidity dries up."
The recent surge in the price of oil could also hamper the global economy, according to the head of Saudi Arabia's state oil firm Aramco, Khalid al-Falih. He told a conference in Seoul that Saudi was "not comfortable" with the current oil price, saying: "I am concerned about the impact it could have on the global economy."