The rap music group Wu-Tang Clan sings in “C.R.E.A.M.”: “Cash, Rules, Everything, Around, Me C.R.E.A.M. Get the money Dollar, dollar bill, y’all.”
Based upon the Federal Reserve Board’s real and nominal Broad Dollar Indices, the United States dollar probably established a major top in autumn 2022. Its subsequent decline intertwined with a fall in the yield in the US 10 year Treasury note, and the dollar depreciation and UST yield decline interrelated with and encouraged notable price climbs in the S+P 500, emerging marketplace stocks, and several other important “search for yield” playgrounds.
However, for the near term, the Broad Dollar Indices (“BDI”) probably will appreciate some, thereby retracing some of the tumble from their autumn pinnacles. Why?
First, the Federal Reserve recently reemphasized its devotion to its monetary tightening agenda in its battle to return inflation to its two percent objective. This sentinel also has not ruled out further Federal Funds rate increases. It continues to reduce the size of its bloated balance sheet. Moreover, this noble guardian signals an intent to maintain policy rates for quite some time at heights sufficient to bring inflation down to acceptable levels. Unemployment figures remain very low (the Fed stresses “the labor market remains extremely tight”), further suggesting the likelihood that Fed policy will remain moderately hawkish for an extended time. See the 2/1/23 FOMC statement and the Fed Chairman’s Press Conference.
Also, the dollar’s weakness since autumn 2022, and the rally in key global stock marketplaces such as the S+P 500, has not been matched by a sustained rally in commodities “in general”. All else equal, a weaker US dollar tends to boost the nominal price of dollar-denominated assets. Marketplace history is not marketplace destiny. However, despite occasional divergence, over the long run commodities in general have moved in similar time and price patterns with the S+P 500. Yet commodities in recent months, despite occasional rallies, have remained comparatively weak. Even the petroleum complex, despite vigorous OPEC+ efforts to support the price and embargoes on Russia imports, has shown merely intermittent strength; it resumed its slump . This relative feebleness in commodities despite dollar depreciation hints that at least for the near term, the dollar probably will not decline much further in the near term.
In addition, as of January 2023, the real broad Dollar Index (a monthly average) borders important support, April 2020’s 113.4 summit. The nominal BDI (daily data) has retreated around ten percent from its autumn 2022 pinnacle, an important “correction” distance.
Consider recent US rhetoric about the importance of democracy relative to autocracy. For example, see the White House’s “National Security Strategy” (10/12/22). Is that wordplay and related American global policy actions on topics such as the Ukraine/Russia conflict and the Taiwan/China relationship an effort to keep the dollar fairly strong?
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US Dollar and Other Marketplace Adventures (2-5-23)