Dollar, yen fall; China helps growth-linked currencies

Paul Dykewicz

[dollar bills]

Dollar, yen fall; China helps growth-linked currencies (Reuters)

The dollar and the yen fell this morning against growth-linked currencies which drew support from higher stock markets as investors responded positively to prospects of more economic reform in China. Chinese shares posted their biggest gain in more than two months today, as Beijing announced its most sweeping economic and social reforms in nearly three decades. Those gains saw global shares hit record highs but the major currencies of the dollar, yen and euro on balance are held back by questsions about how long major central banks will keep monetary stimulus easy and the liquidity taps open. The dollar dipped from highs last week as Janet Yellen, President Obama’s nominee to become the next Federal Reserve chairman, encouraged faith that the U.S. central bank would keep its $85-billion-a-month bond purchases intact this year. Some investors now expect the Fed to start paring stimulus only in March 2014, leaving dollars flowing through the global financial system. The European Central Bank also has pledged to keep rates near record lows and may take more action while the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is set to be aggressive in providing monetary stimulus to reach its inflation goal. The BOJ will hold a regular policy meeting this week and likely will keep its ultra-loose policy. The flood of global liquidity and the promise to keep rates low should put pressure on low-yielding currencies like the dollar, the yen, the Swiss franc and even the euro. Currency traders should consider this trend before making any moves. Commodity traders should note that the U.S. dollar’s direction is an indicator of where commodity prices may be headed next.

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U.S. stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index above 1,800 for the first time, as global equities rallied after China pledged to expand economic freedoms. The S&P 500 climbed 0.2 percent to 1,801.09 at 9:32 a.m. in New York.

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