Dollar buoyed by yields surge jump after Fed’s inflation shift

The dollar held gains against major currencies, on Friday, after the Federal Reserve’s aggressive new strategy to lift employment and increased tolerance for higher inflation pushed U.S. bond yields up.

The dollar’s index rose against six major currencies and was last trading at 93.061, turning around a sharp decline seen on Thursday.

Speaking at the Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium, which was held virtually this year, Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank will seek to achieve two per cent inflation on average.

This would enable the periods of super-low inflation to likely be followed by an effort to lift inflation “moderately above two per cent for some time,’’ and to ensure economic recovery and job creation.

Following Powell’s comments, the dollar initially fell sharply against the yen and the euro, but reversed as longer-term U.S. Treasury yields bounced back to their highest levels in months.

“Since FOMC meeting in June, the treasury yields have declined and the dollar fell

“But I think that will not be the case for the time being, especially after the Fed’s speech.

“The market is more likely to see higher treasury yields,’’ said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

The benchmark 10-year yield, which rises when bond prices fall, rose to 0.7700 per cent in Asian trade, a level unseen since June 16.

“It’s clear we saw a ‘buy the rumour, sell the fact’ play out, notably in U.S. Treasuries, which have led broad market moves,’’ said Chris Weston, Head of Research at brokerage Pepperstone in Melbourne.

“The move higher in Treasury yields post-Powell did promote a USD rally, although we find it flat on the day, with a mixed picture across the well-traded FX pairs.’’

The euro changed hands at $1.18155 EUR=, after almost hitting last week’s low of $1.17545 overnight.

The greenback rose to 106.695 JPY=EBS against the safe-haven yen, edging near this month’s high of 107.05.

Traders in the yen now shift their focus to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s news conference later in the day, amid growing concerns over his health.

Ruling party officials have said Abe’s health is fine, but his recent hospital visits, one of which ran nearly eight hours, have fanned speculation whether he will be able to continue in the job until the end of his term in September 2021.

The offshore yuan stood at 6.8819 per dollar.

The British pound was little changed at $1.3193, after hitting its highest since Dec. 31 of $1.3284 on Powell’s comments.

The Australian dollar was changing hands at $0.7264, while the kiwi stood at $0.6643 per dollar. 

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