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Dollar Charges to 14-Year High, Bonds in Full Swing

The dollar scaled to its highest level in almost 14 years, while U.S. bond yields were set for the biggest rise in 15 years.
Notes from a seized haul of $7.16 million in counterfeit hundred-dollar bills are pictured in Battambang
REUTERS/Andrew RC MarshallAndrew RC Marshall / Reuters file
/ Source: Reuters

The dollar scaled to its highest level in almost 14 years against a basket of currencies on Friday, while U.S. bond yields were set for the biggest fortnightly rise in 15 years on bets U.S. inflation and interest rates are headed higher.

A growing perception that the economic policies of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will push up consumer prices helped put the dollar on track for its biggest two-week rise against the Japanese yen in almost 30 years.

Data on Thursday suggesting the U.S. jobs market is tightening and inflation is gaining traction have bolstered a view that U.S. growth and inflation could accelerate if the Trump administration cuts taxes and increases fiscal spending.

Last week's unexpected U.S. election result has prompted investors to ditch their once rock-solid conviction that growth in developed economies will remain tepid because of tough competition from emerging market economies with lower wages.

That has led to a repricing of assets, witnessed most notably in currency and bond markets.

"What we're looking at is a broad shift of investment back to the U.S.," said Richard Cochinos, Citi's head of G10 currency strategy in London.

"There are expectations for tax cuts next year - which were part of the Trump campaign's promises - and then there's also the idea of what type of fiscal boost are you going to have. That's what's driving asset prices – it's people's expectations for the fiscal impulse next year," he said.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 2.34 percent, its highest since December. It is up about 55 basis points over the last two weeks — the biggest weekly rise in 15 years and the second biggest in almost 30 years.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Thursday that Trump's election has done nothing to change the Fed's plans for a rate rise "relatively soon."

But money markets are starting to price in one or more rate hikes next year, a sea change from before the election when they priced in a less than 50 percent chance of a 2017 rate hike.