Dollar extends bounce as stimulus hopes stall short bets
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar extended a rebound on Monday, as sharp gains in U.S. yields and hopes for more stimulus to boost the world’s largest economy prompted some investors to temper bearish bets, pulling the currency further away from recent multi-year lows.
President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20 with Democrats able to control both houses of Congress, has promised “trillions” in extra pandemic-relief spending.
That has pushed the yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. debt up more than 20 basis points to 1.1187% this year, which helped the dollar to a one-month high of 104.20 yen Monday as better rates gave pause to some dollar shorts.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars fell more than 0.6% against the greenback to one-week lows, while the euro and sterling lost 0.4% to touch two-week lows.
The euro last traded as low as $1.2167 in Asia, after climbing as high as $1.2349 last week.
“The underlying source of the revival has been the aftermath of the Senate elections and markets anticipating that we might get substantially more fiscal support for the U.S. economy,” said National Australia Bank’s head of FX strategy, Ray Attrill.
“Everyone’s asking whether this changes the weaker dollar narrative – that’s why I think we’re getting a bit of a continuation of what we’re seeing on Thursday and Friday.”
Attrill said he was not buying a rebound yet, as shifts in relative yields tend to take a while to play out in currency markets, because extra stimulus is by no means certain and as other factors weighing on the dollar remain in place.
But the surge in bond yields since the Democrats won control of the Senate last week has been enough to pause the dollar’s steep and steady decline since last March. [US/]
Havens which pay no income also fell, with bitcoin slumping as much as 12% to a one-week low and gold down 1% at a one-month low.
The dollar index has lost roughly 12% since a three-year peak in March. However, it is now more than 1.3% above the almost three-year low it hit last week. It rose 0.1% to 90.418 on Monday.
The hitherto soaring Australian dollar fell nearly 1% to $0.7693, unmoved by another solid month of local retail sales. The kiwi slipped 0.6% to $0.7194 and dollar gains were broad, if smaller, elsewhere in Asia. [AUD/]
“The market’s been incredibly bearish and seen a short dollar position as a central driver of a reflation trade,” said Chris Weston, head of research at broker Pepperstone in Melbourne.
“The risk of higher real yields suggests reducing tactically that short dollar exposure to a more neutral stance.”
The dollar rose 0.2% to 6.4864 yuan and it rose 0.6% to two-week high of 1,099.58 South Korean won and hit a two-week peak against the Singapore dollar.[EMRG/FRX]
“The weaker dollar narrative and broad-based ebullience for emerging markets have been challenged earlier in the year than we forecast, which may lead to a rethink of consensus trades, at least in the week ahead,” Barclays analysts said in a note.
Elsewhere, China’s factory gate prices fell last month at their slowest pace since February, suggesting the country’s manufacturing sector continues to see a rapid recovery.
Chinese trade figures are due later in the week along with U.S. retail sales, sentiment and production data and markets have a wary eye on Washington as pressure grows to impeach President Donald Trump.
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