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US Dollar (DXY): Soars to Two-Month High Amid Resilient Economy, Debt Ceiling Concerns

By:
James Hyerczyk
Updated: May 25, 2023, 09:14 UTC

US Dollar reaches two-month high against Euro and six-month peak versus Yen, propelled by reduced rate cut bets and safe-haven demand.

US Dollar Index

In this article:

Highlights

  • US Dollar strengthens due to reduced rate cut expectations.
  • Demand for safe havens boosts the greenback despite US debt ceiling impasse.
  • Dollar reaches two-month highs against Euro and six-month peak versus Yen.

Overview

The US Dollar is surging against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, while reaching a two-month high against the Euro and a six-month peak versus the Yen. This rise can be attributed to the traders’ reduced bets on rate cuts for the year, driven by the resilient state of the US economy.

In an unexpected twist, the greenback has also benefited from a demand for safe havens, despite an impasse in the US debt ceiling negotiations. The looming threat of a disastrous default as early as June 1 has intensified concerns, leading investors to seek refuge in currencies like the dollar.

Dollar Hits Highest Level Since March

During the Asian session, the dollar reached $1.07425 per Euro, marking its highest point since March 24. It continued to maintain an elevated position at $1.0748. Additionally, it climbed to 139.66 Yen, a level last seen on November 30. The exchange rate movements have further contributed to the dollar’s strength in the market.

At 08:41 GMT, June US Dollar Index futures are trading 103.420, up 0.025 or +0.03%. On Wednesday, the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund ETF (UUP) settled at $28.48, up $0.11 or +0.39%.

Fitch Places US Debt Ratings on Negative Watch

Investors are growing increasingly anxious as the “X-date” for a debt ceiling resolution approaches, with only a week remaining. Fitch, one of the major credit rating agencies, placed the United States’ “AAA” debt ratings on negative watch, citing the imminent crisis and the political partisanship that is obstructing a solution. This move by Fitch has added to the mounting concerns surrounding the situation.

The financial markets also responded to Fitch’s announcement, with futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average experiencing a brief decline of around 100 points. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the currency against six major peers, could potentially test 106 if it manages to break above 104.

Failed Biden-McCarthy Talks Deepen Debt Ceiling Uncertainty

Debt ceiling negotiations between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have fallen short of an agreement, heightening the uncertainty. While McCarthy expressed hope for a deal before the deadline, House members were informed of a weeklong recess beginning on Thursday, with the possibility of being called back for a vote.

Strengthens on European Economic Weakness

Adding to the dollar’s strength is the weakness observed in European economies, highlighted by a worse-than-expected deterioration in German business confidence. This reinforces the appeal of the dollar as a safe-haven currency. Some experts believe that the dollar could experience a further 2% upward movement, with Fitch’s announcement potentially acting as a trigger.

US Economy, Debt Ceiling Concerns Propel Surge

Overall, the dollar’s recent surge can be attributed to the resilience of the US economy and the concerns surrounding the US debt ceiling crisis. The ongoing developments in these areas, as well as the potential impact on financial markets, continue to generate uncertainty and volatility in the currency markets.

Technical Analysis

Daily June US Dollar Index

The main trend is up. The index has extended its current rally to 104.090 on Thursday after overtaking 103.631 (R1) earlier in the week. This level is new support.

We’re now looking for the rally to possibly extend into 104.406 (R2) over the near-term.

A sustained move under 103.631 (R1) will signal the return of sellers. If this creates enough downside momentum then we could see a retest of 102.405 (S1).  That’s the longer-term support.

S1 – 102.405 R1 – 103.631
S2 – 101.797 R2 – 104.406
S3 – 100.520 R3 – 104.720

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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