US dollar upcycle: 6 years and counting

Those betting on the demise of the US dollar have been repeatedly frustrated over the past 6 years.

After falling from the tech bubble peak in 2000 all the way to the debt bubble bust in 2008, the US dollar Index (as against a basket of the world’s 6 major currencies) bottomed in late 2008, retested downside support with the Fed’s reckless QE policies in 2010 and 2011 and has been rising gradually ever since.  Winning the least ugly contest among global participants may seem like a hollow victory, but currency trades are actually the most dominant force in capital markets today and this latest break out in the greenback (shown below) may well have a few more years to run as the US slowly (painfully!) rebuilds the coffers following 15 years of self-destructive policies.

U$ breaking outNot good news for commodities and precious metals priced in US dollars.  See: Iron Bound for Rough Ride, as the commodity boom continues to reverse.  Also a headwind for US large cap companies who harvest some 50% of earnings from overseas sales.  While the greenback was falling, the translation back to US income statements boosted sales numbers.  The currency rebound is now having an equal and opposite effect.

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