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Metals rally helps knock dollar off 13 1/2-year high

Nov 22, 2016, 1:21 PM
News ID: 6604
Metals rally helps knock dollar off 13 1/2-year high

EghtesadOnline: The dollar retreated from a six-month peak against the yen on Tuesday, while a push higher for copper and iron ore prices drove commodities-linked currencies higher, led by the Australian dollar.

Two bullish weeks for the dollar since the election of Donald Trump looked to be subsiding before the Thanksgiving holiday, and traders said the widening of an oil rally to other commodities was encouraging a squeeze on pro-dollar positions, Reuters reported.

"If we're going to have a wobble in the trades that have worked post-Trump, then the next 10 days is probably it," said Richard Benson, co-head of portfolio investment with currency fund Millennium Global in London.

"We could see another 1 percent squeeze from here. $1.0850 is the line in the sand for the euro, 100.30 was the breakout level for the DXY (dollar index)."

An earthquake of magnitude 7.4 and a subsequent tsunami warning in northern Japan prompted knee-jerk selling of the dollar for the safe-haven yen in Asian trade. Choppy morning trading in London saw the pair flat at 110.76 yen. JPY=

The Aussie, which tends to move in tandem with prices of the iron ore it exports to China and other major commodity consumers, was up 0.4 percent at $0.7398.

Iron ore, rebar and coking coal all hit limit-up levels in China as speculators bought following recent dips, while global oil prices rose to their highest point since October as the market priced in a possible output cut led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

London copper jumped 2 percent to its highest in more than a week.

The dollar was flat on the day at $1.0633 euro, having retreated more than half a cent from an almost 1-year high of $1.0569 hit on Friday.

"There is a feeling that the step adjustment in the dollar has already happened," RBC head of G10 FX strategy Adam Cole said, outlining a 2017 outlook that called for the dollar to fall back to around 100 yen.

"A December rate hike is now totally discounted. Two more hikes next year are 80 percent discounted. At these levels I would like to start fading the rally in dollar-yen."

On Monday, the greenback had set a near six-month high of 111.36 yen, which amounted to a gain of 10 percent from its Nov. 9 trough near 101 yen.

Against a basket of six major currencies, the dollar last stood at 100.80 .DXY =USD, down from its 13 1/2-year high of 101.48 set on Friday.

Before its streak ended on Monday, the dollar index had risen for 10 straight trading days, as investors bet that increased spending by the incoming Trump administration would stoke inflation and propel interest rates upwards.