Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014
Greek Drama Plagues EuroPosted Friday, May 25, 2012, at 2:13 PM
The euro currency continued sinking this week, falling to the lowest price since 2010. This price decline came as investors grew increasingly concerned that Greece will abandon the euro currency in order to gain increased financial flexibility. The Greek economy is extremely small compared to other European nations, but global investors fear that the current Greek debt drama may soon play out similarly in larger nations like Spain, Portugal or even Italy, the world's 8th-largest economy. A Greek exit from the euro currency could also lead to Greece defaulting on its debt payments, further weakening Europe's already deteriorating economy.
As a result of these fears, the euro currency fell beneath $1.25 on Friday morning, sliding another 2.2 cents this week (-1.7%). With a three-day weekend ahead in the United States and increasing pressure on European politicians to resolve the Greek crisis, many U.S. investors are warily awaiting news from Europe over the weekend.
A falling euro currency equates to a rising U.S. Dollar, which, in turn, can hurt American exports.
Oats Get Rolled
Before the arrival of the motorized age, horses played a large role in agricultural production and transportation in this country. Oat prices, therefore, were widely watched, as oats served as "gasoline" for plow teams and stagecoach wheel horses. With the adoption of fossil fuels, oats' popularity waned. In recent years, oats have regained popularity due to their high fiber content and cholesterol-lowering properties. Despite a larger trend of Americans eating oats, prices fell off a cliff this week, as good growing weather decreased investor interest in the round grain. By Friday morning, prices had dropped as low as $2.91 per bushel, down 50 cents (-14.6%) on the week.
Oats are produced primarily in cooler climates like Canada, Russia and the Northern United States. Oats are traded at the Chicago Board of Trade in 5,000 bushel increments, and traded as high as $4.58 per bushel in 2008.
Please note, most commodities exchanges in the United States will be closed on Monday in honor of Memorial Day.
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Alex Breitinger, a 2009 graduate of DePauw University, is a commodity futures broker with Breitinger & Sons, LLC in Valparaiso. He can be reached at 800-411-FUTURES (3888) or online at www.indianafutures.com.