Why is the US greenback so sturdy once more? By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. greenback banknotes are displayed on this illustration taken, February 14, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Harry Robertson

LONDON (Reuters) – If buyers agree on one factor this 12 months, it is that the greenback goes to fall. That is made the dollar’s 2% bounce over the past month notably complicated.

U.S. inflation is cooling and the Federal Reserve might pause its rate of interest hikes subsequent month. So the greenback ought to be on the best way down, proper?

Analysts say quite a few elements are in all probability at play. One is {that a} vary of worries – in regards to the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations, the well being of banks, and the worldwide economic system’s outlook – are burnishing the greenback’s safe-haven credentials.

In the meantime, there are some indicators that the Fed might have to lift charges once more, and that extra technical elements to do with investor positioning are concerned.


The – which measures the U.S. forex in opposition to six others – has risen roughly 2% for the reason that center of April to round 103, though it is nonetheless down round 10% from final September’s 20-year excessive of 114.78.

The go-to rationalization of forex strategists proper now’s the debt-ceiling debacle is boosting the greenback.

Democrats and Republicans are inching nearer to reaching an settlement on elevating the $31.4 trillion borrowing restrict. However the specter of a probably catastrophic U.S. debt default lingers, at a time when many banks look weak.

When markets are confronted with worries like that, they usually purchase much less dangerous belongings resembling bonds, gold, and {dollars}.

“The current USD energy is essentially pushed by elevated safe-haven demand in view of ‘unknown unknowns’,” stated Esther Reichelt, forex strategist at Commerzbank (ETR:).

“How extreme are vulnerabilities in U.S. regional banks and what is perhaps the fallout of an escalation within the U.S. debt ceiling battle?”

Some worrying indicators about international financial development may be contributing to safe-haven shopping for. Information out of China this week confirmed that its economic system underperformed in April.


Alvin Tan, head of Asia FX technique at RBC Capital Markets, doubts the safe-haven argument.

If buyers have been nervous, shares could be falling, he stated. In actuality the has been flat for the reason that center of April and is up greater than 8% this 12 months.

Tan stated issues that the Fed has not but slain inflation are a part of the story. A College of Michigan survey launched final week confirmed shopper inflation expectations rose to a five-year excessive of three.2% in Could, lifting bond yields and the greenback.

Merchants at the moment anticipate the U.S. central financial institution to chop rates of interest sharply later this 12 months as a recession takes maintain, but Tan is skeptical.

“We expect there’s an opportunity that U.S. rates of interest might grind larger,” he stated. “We stay unconvinced by the argument that the greenback is on a gentle decline from right here.”


For different analysts, so-called technical elements are at play.

Buyers have mounted large bets in opposition to the greenback. The online quick bets of hedge funds and different speculators amounted to $14.56 billion final week, knowledge from the Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee exhibits, the largest such place since mid-2021.

Counter-intuitively, that positioning may also help drive rallies. If the greenback rises barely, some merchants could also be pressured to shut out their quick positions by shopping for the greenback, which then boosts its worth.

“The greenback may be very, very oversold,” stated Chester Ntonifor, FX strategist at BCA Analysis.

“That is one technical indicator. However a easy technical indicator is that it is rather atypical so that you can have a straight-line decline within the greenback.”

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