Mar 5, 2021 - Economy

The dollar awakens

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The dollar rose to its highest level since late November on Thursday, reversing a major market theme that had been in place for about a year.

Why it matters: The weak dollar had been a big help for large multinational companies, especially Big Tech companies, and had generally lost value in concert with the rise in stock prices for most of 2020.

What's happening: As central banks around the world, including the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, look poised to potentially restart bond-buying programs and even lower interest rates, Fed Chair Jerome Powell's insistence that the U.S. stay the course has made the dollar more attractive among market participants.

Where it stands: The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a group of developed market currencies, is now above its 100-day moving average for the first time in 10 months.

  • The dollar also rose to a 10-month high against the Japanese yen.

What to watch: A strong dollar typically weighs on the prices of oil and other commodities because they are priced in dollars.

  • But even as copper, gold and other commodity bellwethers have suffered in recent days as the dollar has gained, oil prices have continued to push higher, notching new highs.
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