8 October 2001, 12:26  Forex - Dollar under pressure in early trade on attacks in Afghanistan

LONDON (AFX) - The dollar was under some pressure in early trade following the start of military action against Afghanistan, dealers said. By contrast, the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen were in demand as investors piled into what are considered "safe haven" currencies. Generally, currency strategists don't expect too much of an impact on the dollar over the day, given that the strikes have been widely expected and the US markets are closed for Columbus Day. "I would say the reaction is what I've expected," said Bear Stears currency strategist Steve Barrow. From now on, there are dangers of intra-day volatility, though not much directional volatility, said Barrow. In the short-term, there are two issues that will dominate the currency markets, he said. The first involves the speed and success of the operation. If completed quickly, the dollar could spike up strongly as the equity markets breathe a sigh of relief. The second involves the likelihood and talk of terrorist reprisals, which will affect the growth environment and be very costly to the dollar, he added. Michael Klawitter, a strategist at WestLB said risk aversion in the markets, "may even decline as long as military action remains limited and the rifts between the members of the US alliance do not increase." Without a clear escalation of the military action, Klawitter doubts whether euro/dollar will benefit from safe-haven flows but this morning's apparent accident at Milan Airport contributed to spike up in euro/dollar.

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