The U.S. dollar remained lower against major rivals on Wednesday after pulling back from multi-month highs as a retreat in Treasury yields reduced the currency’s appeal. Riskier currencies including the Australian and New Zealand dollars held overnight gains as the pause in the bond market rout of recent weeks boosted investor sentiment, which also lifted stocks.
Bitcoin topped $55,000 for the first time since Feb. 22 as it narrowed the gap to its record high above $58,000. A gauge of the dollar – a traditional haven currency- against six peers was little changed at around 92.033 afterfalling back from a 3-1/2-month high of 92.506 overnight. Less than two weeks ago, it was trading below 90.
The U.S. currency has tracked gyrations in Treasury yields,which have soared on bets that a faster-than-expected economic rebound would spark a surge in inflation, with President Joe Biden expected to sign a $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package as soon as this week.
Many analysts still expect the dollar to weaken over the course of this year though, but the speed of recent gains has forced some to adjust their views.
Westpac, which as recently as last week was talking about selling the dollar index into 91, now sees it reaching as highas 94.50 before resuming last year’s down trend as the rest of the world closes the gap with the U.S.’s pandemic recovery. “Global reflation is alive and well, and Europe will get her vaccination act together at some point too,” Westpac strategists wrote in a note Wednesday.
“A continuation of the global recovery … should see commodity currencies outperform.” The Aussie was mostly flat at $0.7708 after jumping 1% overnight. New Zealand’s kiwi slipped 0.1% to $0.7165 following Tuesday’s 0.8% increase. The euro was 0.1% lower at $1.18880 after bouncing off Tuesday’s 3 1/2-month low of $1.18355. Against the yen, another traditional safe haven currency, the greenback traded 0.1% higher at 108.575 following its retreat from a nine-month top of 109.235. In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin rose as high as$55,811.40 on Wednesday and was last up 1.3% at $55,661.70.