The Bear Market Rally
The big story continues to be the bear market rally that has been going on in the U.S. dollar. The dollar index closed above 93. The low this year was just above 88, so we’ve risen above 5% so far in the U.S. dollar index. Year to date we’re up on the dollar a little over 1%. We’re still down about 6% from where the dollar ended 2016, but we’ve had this considerable rally in a relatively short period of time. To me, it has the makings of a bear market rally, a short-covering rally. There hasn’t been any good economic news that would explain the strength of the dollar. In fact, I talked about Fed comments from last week which to me, are quite dovish when you have the Federal Reserve indicating a tolerance toward inflation above 2% talking about “symmetrical inflation” rather than keeping it below 2%, So to me, those are statements that would normally be negative for the dollar.
Technical Rally for Short-Covering
The economic data, the jobs numbers that came out last week – much weaker than expected, so all the information would actually argue against a more aggressive Fed, in favor of a more dovish Fed, yet the dollar is rising anyway. I think it’s technical, I think it’s short-covering and I think it is short-sighted.
Dollar Strong against Emerging Market Currencies
One of the areas where the dollar is the strongest is actually against the emerging market currencies. Not the currencies that are in the U.S. dollar index – that’s dominated by the euro, the pound, the yen – but the emerging market currencies, they’re the ones that are bearing the brunt of this sell-off, and it’s a self-perpetuating problem, because as these emerging currencies go down, it puts upward pressure on their already increasing inflation rate. I think inflation is picking up all around the world, but if your currency is going down, that puts even more pressure on consumer prices, and the politicians of these emerging economies are resisting higher interest rates, both to combat increasing inflation and to support a weakening currency which is only adding fuel to the fire.
Currency Traders Have It Backwards
What’s so ironic about all this is that traders are missing the bigger point. The United States is in the exact same predicament (only worse) than the emerging economies. We are going to be faced with the same set of dynamics, in that we are going to have rising