Dollar gives ground to higher-risk currencies as Chinese shares soar

The U.S. dollar fell against most currencies on Thursday as a rally in riskier assets such as global equities and commodities put a dent in safe-haven demand for the U.S. currency.

China’s yuan rose to a four-month high against the dollar, extending recent gains as investors of all stripes increased positions in Chinese stocks due to growing signs of a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

George Saravelos, currency analyst at Deutsche Bank, said in a note to clients that he expects the greenback to weaken further because of negative macro data surprises from the United States.

“The U.S. election is of course another driver, and we have argued a Biden win would be negative for the dollar because policy would shift away from tariff policy and diplomacy by random tweet,” Saravelos said.

The euro hovered close to the one-month high of $1.1371 it hit earlier in the day EUR=EBS even after German export data failed to meet analysts’ expectations.

Analysts have noted a recent uptick in ETF flows coming from the United States into European equities.

“We will be closely watching to see how inflows respond to the European Recovery Fund negotiations in coming weeks. An acceleration would be a very positive sign for the euro,” wrote Saravelos.

The British pound rose 0.3% to $1.2652 GBP=D3, a three-week high.

The Chinese yuan soared to a four-month high of 6.9808 in the offshore market and was last up 0.2% against the dollar at 6.9830 CNH=EBS. (Graphic: Yuan strengthens, here)

China’s currency has been a star performer as investors shrug off diplomatic tension between Washington and Beijing to focus on China’s improving economy and its attractive technology sector.

The yuan has risen around 2.3% from a seven-month trough against the dollar set on May 27.

“We’ve seen a more generalised view back to riskier assets. The Chinese equity surge has been the poster child for risk-on move across the last few sessions,” said Jeremy Stretch, CIBC Capital Markets’ head of G10 FX strategy.

Chinese shares continued their recent rally, with the blue-chip CSI300 index soaring to a five-year high on Thursday.

“Our bias for the currency quarter is 2% to 3% dollar depreciations and we see no reason to change that,” Stretch said, adding that the U.S. currency should fall as the supply from the Federal Reserve rises and the euro is poised for some modest upside gains on the back of the expected euro zone recovery fund.

Elsewhere in currencies, the Swedish and the Norwegian crowns rose to a one-month high against the dollar of 9.15 SEK=D3 and 9.35 NOK=D3 respectively.

Highlighting the dollar’s woes, the New Zealand dollar NZD=D3 rose to $0.6590, the highest since late January.

Source: Reuters

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