The US dollar has swept to its highest level since August, buoyed by a series of stings affecting other major currencies.
The dollar index — which tracks the currency against a basket of six global peers — was up 0.24 per cent on Tuesday to reach a 10-week high of 96.931. Gains were pronounced against the Chinese renminbi, which sank to a 10-year low close to 7 against the buck.
Analysts said the rally was driven largely by the “non-dollar” side of the equation.
“Over the summer, it was clear that the dollar was rising against just about everything,” said Jane Foley, chief G10 currencies analyst at Rabobank in London. “Quite recently, though, it’s more about the euro side,” she said, pointing to the long-running fiscal clash between Italy and the EU and the latest disappointment on eurozone economic growth.
Brexit-hobbled sterling, meanwhile, “has its own issues”, Ms Foley added. The pound is at a 10-week low of $1.2750.
That sentiment was echoed by macro strategists at Barclays: “While the US macro picture has not worsened since early October, there has been a steady drip of bad news from the rest of the world,” they said.
Unusually, the dollar was also pushing higher against the yen, which typically climbs in times of market stress. The dollar was up 0.41 per cent against the Japanese currency, at ¥112.86.
“With sentiment so fragile, the yen appears to be diverging from measures of risk”, said Kit Juckes at Société Générale. “The overall impression is of a bounce in risk sentiment, albeit one that is heavily influenced by month-end book-squaring and has foundations about as solid as a house built on quicksand”, he added.
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