Monday, July 22, 2013

The rising dollar: Green and back

Visitors to America this summer will find their money does not stretch quite as far as on previous trips. The dollar has risen this year against a broad range of currencies, so holiday purchases will be a bit pricier than usual. A strengthening dollar is a rare thing. The upward bursts in the early 1980s and the late 1990s were deviations from a generally falling trend. Since it was freed from the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates four decades ago, the dollar has mostly fallen in value against other rich-world currencies. But a growing band of analysts reckon it is time for the greenback to regain a bit of lost ground.

The immediate spur for optimism about the dollar is the recent signalling from the Federal Reserve that its purchases of bonds with newly created money may start to tail off as soon as September. The prospect of an end to quantitative easing has already pushed up long-term interest rates. The yield on ten-year Treasuries has risen to 2.6% from a low of 1.6% in May. As yields rise, capital is attracted to America from riskier parts of the world. That in turn pushes up the dollar. The Economist

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