TOKYO/SINGAPORE – The US dollar was sold to multi-year lows against sterling and the Australian and New Zealand currencies on Monday, as investors cheered vaccine progress and wagered on the pandemic recovery bringing a global trade boom and an export windfall.
The British pound hit $1.4043, its highest since April 2018, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson charts a path out of lockdowns on the back of rapid vaccinations.
The Aussie rose as much as 0.5 percent to an almost three-year high of $0.7908 and the kiwi hit $0.7338, also its best since early 2018, helped by S&P’s upgrade of New Zealand’s sovereign credit ratings by a notch.
The euro was steady at $1.2119, while the yen was the only major to cede ground to the greenback as rising US Treasury yields drew investment flows from Japan.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields rose to 1.3940 percent, their highest since Feb. 2020 and the dollar was up 0.2 percent to buy 105.73 yen.
With local yields anchored by the Bank of Japan, the yen remains particularly sensitive to the US bond market, and has dropped 2 percent this year while US ten-year yields have climbed nearly 50 basis points.
Sovereign yields elsewhere in Asia have gained in tandem, or in the case of Australia and New Zealand far in excess of US rates, leaving little or no relative benefit for the dollar, as investors begin to price in a pickup in global inflation.