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Dollar Index Reaches 2-Week High as Fed View Boosts U.S. Yields

June 24, 2013

June 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Dollar Index rose to a two-week high as the yield differential between U.S. and Japanese government securities increased to the widest in almost two years, increasing the appeal of dollar-denominated assets.

The U.S. currency rose against all but one of its 16 major counterparts before U.S. reports tomorrow that economists said will show durable-goods orders gained and house prices increased as the Federal Reserve may reduce monetary stimulus. A gauge of currency volatility climbed to the highest since June 2012. Chinese stocks fell the most in four years, damping investor interest in riskier currencies. The Swedish krona slid to a seven-month low versus the dollar.

"Long-term yields in the U.S. have continued to jump higher over the last week," Charles St-Arnaud, a foreign- exchange strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in New York, said in a telephone interview. "That’s driving some inflows and strength into the U.S. dollar. There’s been a reassessment of the whole liquidity story and what will be the impact on rates across the board."

The Dollar Index, which Intercontinental Exchange Inc. uses to monitor the U.S. currency against those of six trading partners, rose 0.3 percent to 82.531 at 8:57 a.m. in New York after climbing to the highest level since June 5.

 

Currency Levels

 

The dollar advanced 0.2 percent to $1.3101 per euro after appreciating to the strongest level since June 6. The U.S. currency weakened 0.4 percent to at 97.50 yen. The yen added 0.5 percent to 127.77 per euro.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Group of Seven Volatility Index, based on currency option premiums, rose to as high as 11.83 percent today, the most since June 1, 2012. The gauge has averaged 8.76 percent in the past year.

Sweden’s krona declined versus all 16 of its major peers as the CSI 300 Index of Chinese stocks fell the most in four years, signaling a bear market. The currency dropped 1.3 percent to 6.7550 per dollar after depreciating to the least since Nov. 21. It has tumbled 4.4 percent in the past week.

The Norwegian krone fell against the majority of its most- traded counterparts, slipping as much as 1.6 percent to 6.1539, the lowest since July 17.

 

Treasury Yields

 

Treasuries due in two years yielded 0.28 percentage point more than similar maturity Japanese sovereign debt, the biggest premium since July 2011, according to Bloomberg data.

"The fundamental picture for the dollar is clearly positive," said Marcus Hettinger, a currency strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG in Zurich. "The expectation that the Federal Reserve may start reducing asset purchases leads to higher U.S. yields supporting the dollar."

The Dollar Index jumped 1 percent on June 19 when Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said policy makers may begin reducing their quantitative-easing program this year and end it in mid-2014 if the economy is achieving the central bank’s objectives. The Fed purchases $85 billion of bonds each month.

Fed Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher, one of the most vocal critics of the central bank’s quantitative easing, is due to talk about U.S. monetary policy and the economy today in London. This week will also see speeches from Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart, Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker, Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto and Bank of San Francisco President John Williams.

U.S. durable-goods orders increased 3 percent in May after rising a revised 3.5 percent the previous month, according to a Bloomberg News survey before tomorrow’s Commerce Department report. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home values for 20 cities climbed 10.6 percent for the year ended April after a 10.9 percent gain in March that was the biggest since 2006, a separate survey showed.

 

--With assistance from Emma Charlton in London, Candice Zachariahs in Sydney and Kevin Buckland in Tokyo. Editor: Paul Cox, Dave Liedtka

 

To contact the reporters on this story: Joseph Ciolli in New York at jciolli@bloomberg.net; Lukanyo Mnyanda in Edinburgh at lmnyanda@bloomberg.net

 

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at dliedtka@bloomberg.net

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