TOKYO- The dollar fell against the currencies of major commodity exporters on Monday as investors increased bets on countries that will benefit from rising prices for oil, metals, and other goods.
The dollar also fell slightly against the British pound and the euro, but held at multi-month highs against the yen and the Swiss franc because of rising Treasury yields.
Analysts said that sentiment for the dollar has improved because of positive economic data and progress in passing a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, but that the greenback would continue to struggle against commodity currencies amid strong expectations for a rebound in global trade.
“We are seeing a significant divergence in the dollar,” said Yukio Ishizuki, foreign exchange strategist at Daiwa Securities.
“Commodity prices simply aren’t coming down, so there’s no way the dollar can rise against the Aussie and kiwi. However, the dollar will remain strong against the yen because yields are the main driver.”
The Australian dollar rose 0.3 percent to $0.7702, while the New Zealand dollar gained 0.18 percent to reach $0.7177. The antipodean currencies are both in demand because of their links to the global commodities trade.
The US currency fell 0.38 percent against the Norwegian crown to 8.5283 and eased slightly to 1.2637 Canadian dollars as traders bought the currencies of oil exporters.
Some traders said a jump in Brent crude futures above $70 a barrel for the first time in more than a year triggered a flurry of bids for commodity currencies at the start of Asian trading.