Summit News

Jim Rogers using rally to exit dollar assets

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investor Jim Rogers said on Thursday he has been using the sharp rally in the U.S. dollar as an opportunity to exit assets denominated in the U.S. currency.

Rogers told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit 2009 in New York that the rally -- which has pushed the greenback up about 20 percent since July -- is a reversal of a “gigantic short position” accumulated over several years and not a result of a fundamental bet. He added the U.S. currency is likely to weaken sharply again.

“I plan to get out of all of my U.S. dollars at some time throughout this rally,” he said. “The dollar is a terribly flawed currency, and perhaps a doomed currency.”

“I’ve driven around the world looking for a sound currency. There aren’t any.... but the yen is the only thing that’s going to go up for a while,” he added.

Rogers, who spoke via a conference call from Miami, also noted that economies and currencies in regions such as Central Europe and Russia are particularly vulnerable.

On Thursday, the Russian central bank allowed the fifth one percent devaluation in the rouble against the dollar/euro basket in a month as data showed a $17.9 billion drop in gold and foreign exchange reserves last week.

“Russia is a disaster that is spiraling down to a catastrophe. I wouldn’t put a penny of my money into Russia right now,” he said.

Rogers said he expects the economic situation to deteriorate not only in Russia but in Central Europe, which in turn may weigh further on the euro zone.

“Central Europe is a giant fiasco -- hundreds of billions of dollars were floated using the Swiss franc and Japanese yen because rates were so low -- You’ve got some huge huge problems coming out,” he said. “Banks there aren’t writing them down yet.”

Reporting by Vivianne Rodrigues; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama