Dollar heads towards one-year highs as trade concerns dominate
The dollar rose on Monday, edging towards a one-year high, as escalating trade war rhetoric between the United States and its trading partners helped the U.S. currency.
Chinese stocks slumped nearly 2 percent as Beijing proposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods on Friday, while a senior Chinese diplomat cast doubt on prospects of talks with Washington to resolve the conflict.
“The trade war concerns are supporting the dollar and there is a bit of a risk-off tone in the markets,” said Manuel Oliveri, a currency strategist at Credit Agricole in London.
The dollar index, which measures it against a basket of six other major currencies, was about 0.2 percent higher at 95.27, heading back towards a more-than-one-year peak of 95.652 reached on July 19.
The dollar gained against emerging-market currencies as we.. The Turkish lira weakened 0.6 percent, reaching a record low of 5.12 to the dollar after the United States announced late Friday it was reviewing Turkey’s duty-free access to U.S. markets – a move that could affect nearly $1.7 billion of Turkish imports.
Currency markets remained cautious, with high-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar weaker against the yen and the Swiss franc.
With Friday’s U.S. jobs data broadly indicative of a strong economy and July inflation data due later this week, markets are primed for a further increase in U.S. Treasury yields, which should support the dollar.
Yields on two-year U.S. debt have climbed nearly 40 basis points since April while the dollar has risen nearly 7 percent since then.
Efforts by the Chinese central bank to curb currency weakness have proved ineffective. Both the onshore and offshore yuan were slightly weaker against the dollar.
China’s central bank said it would set a reserve requirement ratio of 20 percent from Monday on financial institutions settling foreign exchange forward dollar sales to clients, effectively raising the cost for investors of betting against the yuan.
Elsewhere, the euro held at a five-week low of $1.1550.
Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Bank said the negative impact on markets from the trade tariff exchanges between Washington and Beijing is not as acute it had been previously.