Central banks eschew dollars in favor of Euros, Yen

October 12, 2009
By

From Bloomberg:

Central banks flush with record reserves are increasingly snubbing dollars in favor of euros and yen, further pressuring the greenback after its biggest two- quarter rout in almost two decades.

Policy makers boosted foreign currency holdings by $413 billion last quarter, the most since at least 2003, to $7.3 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nations reporting currency breakdowns put 63 percent of the new cash into euros and yen in April, May and June, the latest Barclays Capital data show. That’s the highest percentage in any quarter with more than an $80 billion increase.

World leaders are acting on threats to dump the dollar while the Obama administration shows a willingness to tolerate a weaker currency in an effort to boost exports and the economy as long as it doesn’t drive away the nation’s creditors. The diversification signals that the currency won’t rebound anytime soon after losing 10.3 percent on a trade-weighted basis the past six months, the biggest drop since 1991.

“Global central banks are getting more serious about diversification, whereas in the past they used to just talk about it,” said Steven Englander, a former Federal Reserve researcher who is now the chief U.S. currency strategist at Barclays in New York. “It looks like they are really backing away from the dollar.”


Also, from AFP:

Dollar facing ‘power-shift’: analysts

The dollar’s position as the world’s leading reserve currency faces increased pressure as the financial crisis allows emerging economies greater influence on the world stage, analysts said.

A report last week in The Independent claiming that China, Russia and Gulf States are among nations prepared to ditch the dollar for oil trades has heightened the uncertainty surrounding the US currency’s future.

“The US dollar is being hurt by the continued talk of a shift away from a dollar-centric world,” said Kit Juckes, an analyst at currency traders ECU Group.

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