Dollar is stronger everywhere but here

The U.S. dollar is getting stronger everywhere but Costa Rica. Financial reports show that the dollar is up 3.3 percent just in March on international markets.

Even gold was pegged at $1,159 per ounce, a significant dip. The Mexican peso was at a record low against the dollar and even the Japanese yen took a dip.

Europe’s euro currency fell close to a 12-year low against the dollar.

The single currency used in the 19-nation eurozone dropped to $1.07, the lowest point since April 2003, and far off its high point at more than $1.60 in mid-2008, according to wire service reports.

The currency traders expect that U.S. interest rates will rise making the dollar even stronger.

In Costa Rica, however, the dollar was trading on the MONEX daily market in the 535-colon range. Some $18.8 million traded hands, according to the Banco Central de Costa Rica. The bank has vowed to defend the colon.

The colon was pegged at 528.63 and 540.52.

The undervalued dollar makes some expats here unhappy because they receive their income in the U.S. currency.  Exporters who sell in dollars abroad are getting fewer colons than the international market would suggest.

The value of the euro has been dropping for weeks in lockstep with the weak European economy and advancing U.S. fortunes.  European investors and officials are also worried that negotiations over Greece’s bailout may prove difficult to resolve in the coming months.

The American labor market added 295,000 jobs last month, the 12th straight month in which job growth has totaled more than 200,000, pushing the U.S. unemployment rate down to 5.5 percent.  Meanwhile, the eurozone jobless rate is at more than 11 percent.

The European Central Bank embarked Monday on a $1.2 trillion stimulus plan aimed at boosting the continent’s economy and job growth, but it had the immediate effect of weakening the euro against the dollar.

For several years, the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, also bought billions of dollars of securities every month to generate economic growth, but now has ended the program.  With the improving U.S. economy, the Fed is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate in the coming months, an effort aimed at keeping the economy from advancing too rapidly.

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