The US dollar has reached its highest level since 2003, as continued concern about the impacts of President-elect Donald Trump’s new era of fiscal policy pushed it over a previous high point in December of last year.
The index measuring the dollar against multiple currencies today rose to 100.53 at around midday, before falling back slightly to around 100.23. The dollar hit a high of 109.76 against the Japanese yen shortly before that, while the euro fell to an intraday low of 1.076 against the dollar.
Analysts signalled that there was little sign of any slowdown in the dollar’s surge. “The Trumpflation trade has pushed the dollar index to its highest level since 2003. This is becoming extremely crowded trade and there are no signs that traders want to back off at all for the time being,” said Naeem Aslam of Think Markets.
Federal Reserve governor Janet Yellen will testify to Congress tomorrow. Her testimony will be closely watched for signs of a forthcoming interest rate rise at the Fed's December meeting, which could push the dollar up further.
The dollar’s strength has contributed towards a punishing period for emerging markets. The Mexican peso has plummeted against the dollar to record lows in the last week as markets adjusted to the implications of Trump’s trade rhetoric.
“The strength in the dollar index does represent a risk for the emerging markets and it can also eat into corporate profit for the US firms. The current move is also massively backed by bets that the Fed is going to raise the interest rate and odds are standing at 94%,” said Think Markets’ Aslam.