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Dollar dominance crushes Asian currencies as bond yields surge

Dollar dominance crushes Asian currencies as bond yields surge
A pedestrian outside a currency exchange store in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. The dollar is rising against virtually every peer as fallout from the sanctions levied against Russia supercharge demand for the world’s reserve currency.

The dollar is powering ahead against almost all its major global peers, buoyed by higher Treasury yields and a selldown in stocks that is turbo-charging demand for the world’s reserve currency. 

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained for second day on Friday, approaching a two-year high set last month as investors seek shelter amid concern Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes will send the global economy into recession.

Asian currencies were the biggest losers on Friday, with the Taiwan dollar, South Korean won and the Chinese yuan all dropping at least 0.5%.

Emerging currencies resumes slide as Treasury yields rise

“After such a brutal selldown, you’re probably not wanting to plonk your money down anywhere else other than dollars when all you’re focused on is safety,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “The dollar is the only safe prize in town right now.”

A mix of higher interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty has boosted Bloomberg’s dollar gauge by more than 6% this year. Relentless dollar strength has hammered the yen in particular, with Japan’s currency sliding almost 12% since the end of December as the nation’s dovish monetary policy diverges with the Fed’s hawkish rhetoric.

Read: Treasuries Hammered Ahead of Jobs Report as Market Doubts Powell

“King dollar still has more to gain over coming months,” said Rodrigo Catril, strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney, who recommends a core long dollar position in portfolios. ““The Fed remains resolute on its quest to quickly get to neutral if not going beyond.” BM

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