Dollar gains capped by concerns over Trump policies
The dollar rose against the yen and euro on Thursday but the prospect of stronger U.S. economic growth was not enough to drive the currency significantly higher as the weight of bets on a stronger greenback made some investors nervous. While equities and Treasury yields have continued to rise, fuelled by U.S. President Donald Trump’s signals that he plans to increase public spending, expectations of a boost to growth have had a diminishing impact on the dollar in the past 10 days. Currency market players have offered a variety of explanations for that breakdown, from concerns about Trump’s protectionist bent to his warning over the dollar’s strength and worries about his approach to geopolitical and social issues. Either way, the squeeze on the huge bets on the dollar built up at the end of last year has now lasted almost a month.
Euro zone yields hit one-year highs on expectations of Trump growth policies
Euro zone bond yields hit one-year highs on Thursday as investors took money out of bonds and piled into stocks on signs of a reviving world economy and expectations U.S. President Donald Trump will adopt inflation and growth-boosting policies. Germany’s 10-year bond yields, the benchmark for the region, hit a one-year high of 0.48 percent and France’s equivalent hit 1 percent, following a sharp rise in U.S. stocks and Treasury yields overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday, helping to push the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries up 6 basis points to 2.53 percent. That move filtered through to other parts of the world on Thursday, and global stocks were heading towards all-time highs even as bonds sold off. "We are still on the theme of growth and the market is beginning to believe that Trump will actually do what he promised during the (presidential) campaign, so we have a shift from bonds to stocks," said DZ Bank analyst Rene Albrecht.
China unveils fresh steps to curb capital outflows, spur inflows
China’s foreign exchange regulator on Thursday issued new guidelines aimed at helping curb capital outflows from the country and boosting foreign currency inflows, in the latest step to ease pressure on the yuan currency. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said it will strengthen monitoring of cross-border capital flows as it looks to promote "healthy development" of the foreign exchange market. China will "establish a sound macro-prudential management framework under the capital flow management system, requiring banks and enterprises to comply with existing foreign exchange regulations", the regulator said in a statement on its website. "Real and legitimate cross-border payments and remittances will not be affected," it added. The new rules are effective immediately. Chinese regulators have taken a spate of steps in recent months to combat waves capital outflows that have put pressure on the yuan and eroded the country’s foreign exchange reserves, while trying to lure more capital inflows.
Brazil loan defaults drop for 2nd month in December -central bank
Loans in arrears for 90 days or more in Brazil fell for a second straight month in December to the lowest since July while bank lending grew slightly, the central bank said on Thursday. The so-called default ratio, a benchmark for delinquencies, came in at the equivalent of 5.7 percent of outstanding non-earmarked loans, down from 5.8 percent in November. Lending grew 0.1 percent in December from November, to 3.107 trillion reais ($978.09 billion), the report showed.