NEWS

Dollar Down, Slows Rally Over Treasury Yields Retreat

The dollar was down on Wednesday morning in Asia, with a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields sapping momentum from the U.S. currency’s recent rally and investors cautiously resumed bets on a continuous slide for the dollar.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.08% to 89.940 by 9:51 PM ET (2:51 AM GMT).
The USD/JPY pair edged down 0.15% to 103.59.
The AUD/USD pair inched down 0.08% to 0.7765, while the NZD/USD pair edged up 0.19% to 0.7229.
The USD/CNY pair inched down 0.09% to 6.4549. The yuan also held onto gains, with offshore trade at a one-week high at the beginning of Wednesday’s Asian session.
The GBP/USD pair edged up 0.13% to 1.3681. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey played down the notion of negative interest rates to boost growth, saying that “there are a lot of issues” with them during his online speech to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce on Tuesday. Baily’s comments saw the dollar drop more than 1% against the pound.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell nearly 7 basis points from a 10-month high seen on Tuesday, in turn snuffing out the dollar’s three-day rally and pushing it back towards multi-year lows.

However, the greenback clung above those levels earlier in the session, with the rally tempering some investors’ confidence in the consensus view that U.S. trade and budget deficits will drive the dollar lower.

“The upward correction in the dollar index looks to be over and the downtrend has resumed,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

“But with U.S. asset markets in the driving seat, with equities setting the scene for risk appetite and U.S. bonds leading the way in interest rate markets, it’s worth asking if we can take dollar weakness for granted,” the note added.

The Democrat victory in Senate runoff elections in the state of Georgia earlier in the month sparked a bond-market selloff that drove U.S. yields sharply higher, in turn stalling the dollar’s decline. The victory also raised hopes for huge sums of government borrowing to fund the big stimulus measures promised by President-elect Joe Biden when he and his administration take office on Jan. 20.

However, the strong demand seen at a $38 billion 10-year auction overnight and comments from Federal Reserve officials reiterating that monetary policy is going to stay supportive could see the dollar back on a downward slide.

“The market hasn’t given up on the short dollar, lower real yields, long reflation assets trade just yet,” Pepperstone head of research Chris Weston told Reuters.

Investors now await U.S. inflation figures for December, with the Consumer Price Index to be released later in the day. Further data, including the Producer Price Index, core retail sales and industrial production, are due on Friday.

Kansas City Fed President Esther George said on Tuesday that she does not expect the Fed to react if inflation exceeds the central bank’s 2% goal, adding that it would take a large surprise to unnerve investors.