Friday, May 2, 2008

U.S. Dollar Makes Solid Gains against Major Currencies This Week

The U.S. dollar continued to strengthen, as it gained again against the euro, yen, Swiss franc and Australian dollar over the week.

With the problems in the credit market looking like the worst may have passed, and the job data from the US Labor Department far better than expected, with a loss of 20,000 jobs versus the expected 80,000, investors are gaining optimism about where things are heading.

Unemployment for March also fell, dropping from 5.1 percent to 5.0.

All of this may indicate that while the slowdown will continue, it's dropping in speed, and may be close to plateauing.

Another factor was the expected quarter-point rate cut by the Federal Reserve, which seems to confirm things are getting better, which will help the dollar strengthen.

One concern is whether this will have a negative impact on manufacturing jobs in the U.S, which while declining some, it's nowhere near what it would be if the dollar starts to significantly strengthen. The weaker dollar has kept exports high, and helped keep the industry from losing too many jobs.