Dollar Posts Longest Winning Streak Since 2012 as Fed Hike Seen

November 16, 2016 01:44 PM
 
Dollar Posts Longest Winning Streak Since 2012 as Fed Hike Seen

The dollar extended its winning streak against the euro to the longest since 2012 as forecasts for stronger U.S. economic data added to the momentum triggered by Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election.

A broad gauge of the U.S. currency reached the highest since February as Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said the economy may get a medium-term boost from Trump’s policies. The greenback has been buoyed since the Nov. 8 vote by speculation the Republican’s proposals to increase spending and cut taxes will spur growth and inflation, nudging the central bank toward raising interest rates.

Data Wednesday showing U.S. manufacturing increased for a second month helped drive the market-implied probability of a Fed hike in December to 96 percent. Some analysts warned that further increases in the dollar may be limited before Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony Thursday, coming as Trump continues to form his administration.

“The medium-term outlook for the dollar is still solid, and we expect it to strengthen well into the first quarter of next year,” said Ned Rumpeltin, the European head of currency strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank in London. “But some in the market might adopt a cautious near-term stance ahead of the testimony and during the shaping of the new administration.”

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the currency against 10 major peers, rose 0.3 percent as of 11:33 a.m. in New York, after touching the highest since February. The gain built on a 2.8 percent surge last week, the most since 2011. This week, the index erased its decline this year, leaving it up about 0.6 percent in 2016.

New Highs

The U.S. currency appreciated 0.4 percent to $1.0681 per euro, gaining for an eighth straight day. It touched $1.0666, the strongest level since December. It traded at 109.24 yen after reaching the strongest since June.

Output at U.S. factories climbed for a second month in October, a Fed report showed Wednesday. A report Tuesday showing a 0.8 percent rise in retail sales in October followed an upwardly revised 1 percent jump the prior month, for the biggest back-to-back increase since 2014.

Bullard on Wednesday highlighted two policies that may support growth: a “targeted fiscal infrastructure package aimed at increasing U.S. productivity growth,” and tax changes to allow repatriation of corporate profits to lift investment. The impact on the economy would probably come in 2018, 2019 and 2020, he said.

“We’ve definitely gone very far, very fast,” said Brad Bechtel, a currency strategist at Jefferies Group LLC in New York. While there is potential for the dollar to advance further heading into the U.S. rates decision, “the Fed might try to calm that trade down a bit and their dovishness will likely take the steam out of the trade.”

 

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