Summary Of World Currency Markets For August 2009

Sunday September 6, 2009

So here we are again with another look at how the markets fared during the previous month.  The US dollar didn’t do badly during July, but as we’ll see in a moment there were no huge differences really when it came right down to the wire. It managed a small gain against the British pound, but there was such a miniscule difference between the US dollar and the Euro that it was almost as if nothing had happened at all.  The Hong Kong dollar got the better of the US dollar, but only by a small amount.  This was in a month when small changes seemed to be the order of the day. 

The biggest loss was against the Japanese yen, which definitely had the upper hand against the American currency.  But even here the difference throughout the month as a whole was only 0.155 – leaving the exchange rate on 95.720 at the end of the month.

 So now we will see whether those exchange rates have varied very much during the month of August, or whether things have stayed pretty much the same once more.  It almost seems a relief if there aren’t too many changes, as we saw during July, because big changes can make things feel unstable.  Although of course if we see those changes go in our favor on the currency converter, that isn’t too bad at all! So without further delay let’s take a look at how the US dollar performed on the world currency markets during August.  Did it go through that summer month successfully, or were there more bumps along the way?

An overview of the currency markets during August The battle of the US dollar 

Let’s begin with the battle between the US dollar and the British pound as per usual.  We were starting from a figure of 0.6051 this time, and as soon as things got going on the first Monday of the month that slid back to 0.5937.  Hardly an auspicious start, but it was enough to make us feel like there was some work to be done for the rest of the month.


It slid back to a low for the week of 0.5877 two days later, before grabbing back some ground and finishing on 0.5967 on Friday night.  But that still gave us more work to do for the rest of the month, as the US dollar was already down on the pound for the first week.


The 10th of August dawned better for the dollar though, and by the close of trading the dollar had managed to push back and claim an exchange rate of 0.6010.  That jumped to 0.6059 the next day and 0.6066 the day after, but once again we couldn’t keep up the pace for any longer than that.  We dropped back to 0.6007 on the 13th before finishing the week on 0.6027.


So at the halfway point of the month more or less, we were slightly worse off than we had started.  But with a couple of weeks still to go anything could – and probably would – happen.  The US dollar normally does reasonably well against the British pound: indeed that has been the case of late.  So could it carry on with this performance and edge closer to a better exchange rate through the month as a whole?


The 17th ended with a better rate of 0.6132, but the differences here were still smallish.  This didn’t seem to be one of those months where we were going to see lots of big jumps up and down.  Perhaps we should be thankful for that, but it was still important to see small improvements rather than small losses!


And yet that was exactly what was in store for the rest of that week, by the look of it.  The dollar slipped back to 0.6074 the next day, before perking back up to 0.6099 on the 19th.  But once again there was no time to celebrate anything because the US dollar couldn’t hang onto those small gains.  The following day saw a closing rate of 0.6064 against the British pound, and the week finished on the 21st August with a figure of 0.6041.


So once again the dollar was on the back foot.  Was there anything that could be done to make a big difference here, or was the currency going to suffer throughout the whole month?


Well it did at least manage to improve the exchange rate on Monday the 24th – the figure for the end of the day there was 0.6061.  And there began a series of small but appreciate increases that culminated with an exchange rate of 0.6170 on Thursday night.  That of course means there was a drop on Friday – but it only went back to 0.6115, so that could have been worse.


The 31st day of August – the last day – was a Monday, so the month was able to kick off a brand new week before coming to a close.  And it at least did so in style, finishing the day on 0.6175 in total.  So the dollar had done well overall, adding on a cent and a quarter against the British pound during August.


The dollar finished on 0.7073 against the Euro last time, after a tiny loss.  What could it do this time around?


As it turned out it was in very choppy waters.  It dropped back to 0.6991 at the end of the first day of trading in August, and from there it went up and down between 0.89 and 0.70 territory for the whole month.  The question was which one it would end up on?


The first week finished up on an exchange rate of 0.6965, and after reaching the heights of 0.7059 on the 11th of the month it sank back down to 0.6995 to finish off that week.


This was clearly not going to be a calm month – we couldn’t tell what was going to happen or which currency would have the upper hand overall until the final day of trading for the month was up.  So let’s see what happened next.


Monday the 17th August saw a closing rate of 0.7106, but although the dollar managed to stay in the 0.70s for the next three days, it finished the week on 0.6978.


The next week followed a similar pattern, with the dollar managing to do well right up until the last moment.  It got as high as 0.7008 on the 27th before dropping back to finish the week on 0.6961. 


And with just one more day to go for the month we were glad to see it going the way of the US dollar.  The final exchange rate was 0.7006, which meant that the US dollar had lost out on 0.0067 in total for the month.


The US dollar finished on 7.7500 against the Hong Kong dollar in July, and once again the changes were small ones during August.  The first week finished on 7.7503, showing just how small those differences were going to be. 


It reached 7.7510 on the 10th, and 7.7520 on the 19th, but then finished the week on 7.7511.  But by the time the month came to an end we were looking at an exchange rate of 7.7508.  This was at least still marginally better than the US dollar had finished on the month before, as we had managed to add on 0.0008 in total.  A small difference, but better than nothing.


Finally we move on to Japan to find out what happened there.  A closing rate of 95.720 was recorded in July, so could we improve on that during August?


We peaked at 97.176 on the 10th, but that was simply too much too soon and we couldn’t hang onto it.  By the end of that week we were back down to 94.871, and the following week finished even lower on 93.642.  This wasn’t going to be a good month for the US dollar against the Japanese yen, as we finished on 93.259 by the end of the 31st.  That indicated a loss of 2.461 in all, so perhaps we had better look forward and hope for better next month.

Meanwhile, over in Europe…


This is where we see how the Euro did against the British pound.  The Euro made a tiny gain against the pound during July, finishing on 0.8556 in total.


But even though it slipped back to a month low of 0.8469 on the 5th, it turned things around and started to move back up from there.  By the time the month was over the Euro stood at 0.8813 – having added on two and a half Euro cents against the British pound in total.


Now that equated to a good month!

Elsewhere last month…  

So to end our report we take a customary look at a selection of other currency exchanges that took place during August.   The Euro had a good month against the Canadian dollar.  The dollar didn’t seem to have anything much to throw against the European currency, and suffered for it as a result.   

It started the month on an exchange rate of 1.5234, and by the time the markets opened on Monday 3rd the Euro was ready to launch into what would be a concerted attack on the Canadian currency.  It crept up to 1.5274 on Monday, and by the end of the week it had leapt up further to 1.5540.


It hit another high of 1.5633 on the 12th, before finishing the week on 1.5509.  The following week had its ups and downs before ending on 1.5541, but the final week of the month finished up on 1.5522.  And if we thought that was pretty good, there was that final Monday 31st to get through yet as well.  And that saw the Euro claim an exchange rate of 1.5793 – adding on a total of over five and a half cents in all during August.


Let’s take a look at another currency pairing now that we don’t always focus in on.  This is the one between the Hong Kong dollar and the Swiss franc.  The first weekend saw the Hong Kong dollar claim 0.1397 Swiss francs, and once the first Monday got underway that changed to 0.1375.  It finished that first week down on 0.1373, but the following week saw a slight improvement by ending on 0.1378.

You couldn’t say the same of the week after that though, as the exchange rate dropped to 0.1364 again.  And things seemed to be on a downward slide as the rate got even lower and finished up on 0.1362.  We did at least see a slight upward swing for the last day of the month though, as the Hong Kong dollar claimed a total of 0.1371 on the 31st August.  That meant the dollar had lost out on a total of 0.0026 during August.  Not the best result ever, but it could have been worse. 

Looking forward


So there we have it for another month.  There were some good results, and some others which certain countries would rather forget.  Perhaps we should look ahead now and speculate on what could happen in the coming month of September. We didn’t perhaps see the bigger changes we could have seen during August, which was a relief for some and perhaps disappointing for others.  But there were a few notable changes in the exchange rates between specific currencies, so there is work still to do for some. Needless to say we will be back here next month to give you all the news on what happened during September.  But will it be good news for the US dollar or news which we would rather not receive?  We shall just have to wait and see, but one thing is clear – you just can’t predict what will happen next when it comes to the currency markets. Will the US dollar show a position of strength during the next few weeks?  Will it disappoint us?  We’ll be back to find out very soon.  See you then.