BRIC awaited The G8 finance ministers’ meeting focused on how finance ministers might unwind some of the drastic steps taken to fight the credit crisis once a recovery got underway. Some traders said a cautious tone from the meeting helped temper recent optimism about the economy, encouraging bets in riskier assets to be cut further and supporting the U.S. dollar. “The market began taking profits on gains in emerging market currencies as well as higher-yielding currencies before the G8 meeting, and this is continuing as many investors still have their doubts about the recent excessive optimism over an economic recovery,” said a senior trader at a Japanese bank in Tokyo. Focus will now center on the first summit of BRIC leaders on Tuesday in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, where discussions may include foreign reserve diversification. But a top Kremlin aide said leaders of the BRIC countries do not plan to discuss prospects for new global reserve currencies at their meeting.
“The dollar is stronger across the board and this is predominantly to do with the comments made by Russia’s finance minister at the G8,” said Michael Klawitter, senior currency strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt. “For a more lasting decline to take place in the euro against the dollar, however, these concerns about central bank reserve diversification would have to be cleared up,” he said. 0:00 /1:42Wine business booms in China Other major currencies meanwhile continued to succumb to profit-taking after rising sharply early last week on optimism that the global economy is beginning to recover from a deep recession. Sharp falls in oil prices weighed on commodity-related currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars, while the euro remained under pressure following very weak euro zone industrial production data last week. The dollar jumped 0.9% against a basket of currencies to 80.820.
Gilles Herard Jr: Stocks slumped through the late afternoon as weakness in oil and gold prices dragged on commodity stocks. But the selling eased on unsubstantiated reports about the outcome of the Iranian presidential race, said Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading. He said reports that incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was unseated by challenger Mir Hossein Moussavi caused markets to recover. Yet, the results of the election are not yet clear, with both men claiming victory. Stocks could continue to move up through the next few sessions, but starting in the second half, equities look ripe for a bigger pull back, Saluzzi said. Herard Gilles Jr CanadaGilles Herard Jr CanadaHerard Gilles Jr Where other money may come from In the end, it is still likely that taxing the health care exclusion may not be enough to pay for reform. Lawmakers would have to come up with other “pay-fors.” Not all of the money will come from higher taxes. Indeed, Baucus has indicated there might be a 50-50 or 60-40 split between taxes and reduced spending measures to pay for reform, according to Tax Analysts. President Obama has already proposed about $266 billion worth of savings in his budget that could be devoted to health reform and proposed another $313 billion in his weekly address on Saturday. But lawmakers may have to seek out other tax revenue measures on top of that to pay the piper. What they’ll choose is still in play. If they’re desperate enough, lawmakers might take a second look at a proposal Obama made in his 2010 budget three months ago. He called for a limit on itemized deductions that high-income taxpayers could take.