Dollar flounders despite strong Apple, IBM earnings

By Pete Southern in Shares and Markets | January 19, 2011 16:55 |

Despite strong quarterly earnings reports from tech giants Apple and IBM, the dollar remains weak across the board.

Apple stock price followed up Tuesday’s (January 18) disappointing news that CEO Steve Jobs would be taking another medical leave of absence with impressive first quarter earnings.

The company announced fiscal net income that was higher by 78 per cent compared to its first quarter in 2010. The major catalyst for the holiday season performance was the sale of 7.3 million iPads, over one million more than had been projected.

IBM beat analyst expectations by reporting earnings of $5.26 billion. This amounts to $4.24 per share, well above analyst expectations of just $4.08 per share.

Even with these positive earnings reports, dollar buyers have been hiding this week, especially against the euro and pound. Currency traders are anticipating the possibility of another major debt prevention program in the European Union.

After dipping below $1.30 early last week, the euro has bounced to its high point since mid-November. One euro currently nets $1.3526. A hold at this level could spell a test of medium-term support near $1.37.

The pound has flirted with $1.60 the last two days and is currently worth $1.6016. This is also the pound’s first effort at this level since mid-November.

While the European currencies have taken the strongest shots at the dollar, the greenback is universally week. One dollar is at 82.03, as speculators are still deciding whether the dollar is going to make another attempt at breaking below 80 yen.

Gold has remained relatively stable of late, and currently trades at $1,377.70. However, oil prices have steady climbed in lieu of the weaker dollar.

One barrel of light sweet crude futures currently trades for $92.02 on the New York NYMEX. Speculators are trying to decide whether oil is going to make a run at the all-important $100 per barrel mark.

Fresh earnings from EBAY and several banks on Wednesday may dictate whether dollar weakness continues, or if a short-term reversal is in store for the end of the trading week.

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