Dollar rises as Trump policies anticipated to affect economic growth

Joshua Roberts—Reuters
(L-R) Melania Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The dollar climbed to a 3-1/2-month high against the yen on Thursday as markets weighed how President-elect Donald Trump’s policies could affect economic growth.The greenback rose more than 1 percent to 106.94 yen for the first time since late July. The dollar also rose 0.3 percent against a basket of major world currencies, touching its highest in more than two weeks to hover just below levels last seen in early February.”It’s a continuation of the post-election response,” said Ian Gordon, FX strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “For us, the clean sweep of both the White House and the Congress by the Republicans is a clear signal that we are going to get a pretty significant fiscal stimulus in 2017 and that is going to be bullish for (interest) rates.”Long-dated Treasury yields rose to their highest in more than 10 months. Yields on benchmark 10-year notes and 30-year bonds had their largest one-day rise in years on Wednesday and added to gains on Thursday after a weak 30-year bond auction.Higher interest rates for U.S. Treasuries raise the value of the dollar by making dollar-denominated assets more attractive to investors.The Chinese yuan weakened past 6.80 per dollar in the offshore market on Thursday for the first time in more than six years on fears that Trump will act on the protectionist rhetoric that ran through his campaign, particularly regarding trade with China.The Mexican peso, also weakened by worries over Trump’s campaign proposals on trade, fell to a low of 20.64 to the dollar, nearing its all-time low mark touched on Wednesday.Trump’s election also bolstered the British pound, which rose to a one-month high against the dollar, as the president-elect’s call for renegotiating trade deals set the United States and Britain in line to potentially join forces.”You’ve got President-elect Trump in the U.S. along with Prime Minister (Theresa) May and they’re both talking about trade relationships,” said Douglas Borthwick, managing director at Chapdelaine Foreign Exchange. “So you’ve got two relatively novice politicians that I think will rekindle the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K.”The New Zealand dollar fell almost 1 percent after the central bank cut rates on Wednesday and signaled the possible end to easing.The euro fell to $1.0865, its lowest against the greenback since Oct. 25.