(LONDON, UK) The dollar hit a 14-year high against a basket of currencies on Wednesday as a post-U.S. election sell-off resumed across global bond markets, lifting Treasury yields and attracting investors to the U.S. currency.
That halted stocks in their tracks, with Europe’s main indices down as much as 0.8 percent and Wall Street expected to open 0.5 percent lower.
The Bank for International Settlements this week repeated its view that a stronger dollar poses risks for global markets and financial stability. Investors have largely shrugged off these warnings but stocks felt the heat of the dollar’s latest rise on Wednesday.
“I agree with the consensus interpretation of the key macro trades – higher yields and a stronger dollar – but I’m less persuaded by the expectation of higher global equities,” Stephen Jen of hedge fund Eurizon SLJ Capital said on Wednesday.
“The world’s interest rates have been dragged higher by the U.S. yield curve, creating the risk that interest rates may be too high for the still-fragile economies in Europe and emerging markets,” he said.
U.S. President-elect Trump’s plans to cut taxes and boost infrastructure spending would boost economic activity while his proposals to deport illegal immigrants and impose tariffs on cheap imports are seen driving inflation higher.
That prospect has given rise to expectations that U.S. interest rates will rise faster than previously anticipated, boosting the dollar.
The dollar index, a measure of its value against a basket of currencies, rose to 100.53 on Wednesday .DXY, its highest since April 2003.
The dollar rose 0.5 percent against the yen to a five-month high of 109.75 yen JPY=, rose to an eight-year high against the Chinese yuan of 6.8703 yuan CNY=CFXS and the euro fell below $1.07 for the first time in a year EUR=.
“The narrative on the dollar is strong,” said Simon Smith, chief economist at FXPro.
“A move higher in interest rates next month is now a near dead cert, with the implied path for rates next year also moving higher and providing further support for the dollar.”
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