Dollar retreats from 13-and-half-year high as metals rally

The dollar retreated from a six-month high against the yen on Tuesday, while a push higher for copper and iron ore prices drove commodities-linked currencies higher, led by the Australian dollar.

Two bullish weeks for the dollar since the election of Donald Trump looked to be halting before the Thanksgiving holiday, and traders said the recovery of commodities prices was encouraging a squeeze on pro-dollar positions.

“If we’re going to have a wobble in the trades that have worked post-Trump, then the next 10 days is probably it,” said Richard Benson, co-head of portfolio investment with currency fund Millennium Global in London.

“We could see another 1 percent squeeze from here. $1.0850 is the line in the sand for the euro, 100.30 was the breakout level for the DXY (dollar index).”

An earthquake of magnitude 7.4 and the subsequent tsunami warning in northern Japan prompted knee-jerk selling of the dollar for the safe-haven yen in Asian trade. Choppy early trading in London saw the pair flat at 110.83 yen.

The Aussie, which tends to move in tandem with prices of the iron ore it exports to China and other major commodity consumers, was up 0.4 percent at $0.7398.

Iron ore, rebar and coking coal all hit limit-up levels in China as speculators bought following recent dips, while global oil prices rose to their highest since October as the market priced in a possible output cut led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

London copper jumped 2 percent to its highest in more than a week.

The dollar was marginally weaker on the day at $1.0636 euro, having retreated more than half a cent from the nine-week highs of $1.0569 hit on Friday.

“We’ve seen a general dollar move after the weekend, where the dollar rally has halted a little bit. We may be seeing some profit-taking,” said Jesper Bargmann, head of trading for Nordea Bank in Singapore.

On Monday, the greenback had set a near six-month high of 111.36 yen, which amounted to a gain of 10 percent from its Nov. 9 trough near 101 yen.

Against a basket of six major currencies, the dollar last stood at 100.80, down from its 13 1/2-year high of 101.48 set on Friday.

Before its streak ended on Monday, the dollar index had risen for 10 straight trading days, as investors bet that increased spending by the incoming Trump administration would stoke inflation and propel interest rates higher.

By Patrick Graham | LONDON

(Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano and Masayuki Kitano, editing by Larry

Source: Reuters

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