The story of the commodity and currency markets in 2008 was a tale of two halves. The year started with one of the strongest commodity markets in years: oil soared to an all time high of 147.27 on July 11, and the DJ AIG commodity index was up 22.9% for the first six months of the year. Then things changed – dramatically. On fears of a global recession, commodities gave up all of their earlier gains and then some. The change in the currency market was equally dramatic. The U.S. dollar came under historic pressure during the first half of the year, reaching record lows against the Euro on July 15, driven by higher interest rates in foreign markets such as the Euro area, New Zealand, and Australia. With a global recession on the horizon, however, foreign central banks started cutting rates, causing the dollar to gain 19.7%. The only exception to the turmoil was the Yen, which continued to strengthen with Japans immunity from the subprime meltdown.