Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Commodities Fall on Greece, Economic Worries

Fears Greece may exit the euro has put pressure on commodities, as concerns it would lead to a domino effect, which could result in Spain, among other countries, abandoning the euro as well.

That would lead to a period of chaos in the region, which when combined, is the largest market in the world.

Not too many people are concerned about Greece itself, as it's largely irrelevant. It's what Greece represents in regard to other countries that strikes fear in the hearts of leaders in the region, as it does those who have been attempting to peddle the concept of a one-world order.

That and concerns over China, Japan and the United States, all of which seem to have economies that are slowing down, has commodities under extreme pressure, aided by the rise in value of the U.S. dollar against the euro, as well as other major currencies.

Because commodities are bought in U.S. dollars, that makes it more expensive for those trading in other currencies, exasperating the problem. That's why the price of gold and other commodities have been plummeting.

In Japan, machinery orders dropped 2.8 percent in March, while in the U.S. retail sales fell to the lowest growth level in April for 2012.

The Dollar Index was in positive territory for the 13th day in a row - a record, while the euro plunged to its lowest level in four months, falling as low as $1.2681.

As for Greece, until that situation is resolved, it appears commodities prices will remain under downward pressure. Even though nothing has really changed economically with the failure of the country to form a new government, the market is acting as if this is something new and that Greece is actually serious about austerity measures and paying back its debt.

If Greece does exit the euro, which, over time, is almost a surety, that could have a dramatic impact on commodity prices and the global economy because of the very real and legitimate concerns over what is going to happen with Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

That of course translates into the euro zone, where the inability to project the short-term future with any clarity will hinder the ability to obtain funding, and even if businesses and banks could access funds, it's highly unlikely they'd take the risk with the specter of uncertain growth weighing on them.

One thing that could quickly change that is the introduction of another round of quantitative easing, which would temporarily give the global economy a boost, but at the growing risk of even more debt, which already can't be paid down by governments that promised the moon to their people but are now reaping the whirlwind because of the failure of Keynesian economics.

While there is no doubt the commodity bull run isn't over, we are in a correction that seems to still have longer to go before commodities begin their upward climb in prices again.

This is why the U.S. dollar is the perceived place of safety for investors, even though currencies around the world, including the greenback, have been devastatingly debased.

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