US dollar heads for record high with chaos eclipsing stimulus hopes

  • Forex
  • Thursday, 19 Mar 2020

(Bloomberg) -- The dollar is heading for an all-time high as slowdown fears persist even with fresh global stimulus, while equities and bonds tumbled.

A gauge of the US greenback extended gains for a seventh straight day and touched a fresh three-year high Wednesday even as the dollar-funding market showed some signs of easing amid efforts by central banks including the Federal Reserve.

The pound sank to the weakest in about 35 years, while the Norwegian krone retreated to the lowest since at least 1971 on Wednesday amid economic-slowdown worries.

Investors are seeking refuge in the dollar amid concern that the stimulus measures announced by several countries may not be enough to stem the slowdown from the impact of coronavirus.

Bonds declined as traders brace for new sovereign supply and also remain nervous as the rout in the equity markets shows no signs of abating.

The US currency outperformed all Group-of-10 peers .

"Liquidity stress, and a rush to get hold of dollar liquidity inparticular, sends the dollar higher against everything,” Kit Juckes, a strategist at Societe Generale SA in London, said in an email. "The markets have been really spooked. The dollar is the big winner.”

Here’s a look at key currency levels reached Wednesday:

  • Sterling fell as much as 2.6% to $1.1715, the lowest since 1985
  • The Canadian dollar fell as much as 2.5% to 1.456, the weakest since January 2016
  • The Norwegian krone fell 7.9% to the weakest since at least 1971
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot index is up for a 7th day, the longest winning streak since November and is close to near all-time high it touched in 2017

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