U.S. Dollar Soars to Six-Month High Amid Strong Economic Data

Azeez Mustapha


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The U.S. dollar is on a winning streak, hitting a six-month high against a basket of currencies and reaching a 16-year peak against the Chinese yuan. This surge is propelled by robust indicators from the U.S. services sector and labor market, showcasing the resilience of the American economy amid global turbulence.

The Dollar Index, gauging the greenback’s strength against six major currencies, surged 0.28%, reaching 105.15, its loftiest level since March. The dollar didn’t stop there, climbing 0.33% to 147.87 yen, a level unseen since November 2022.

The rally began with the U.S. services sector, which outpaced expectations in August, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). Their non-manufacturing index surged to 54.5 from July’s 52.7, comfortably beating the anticipated 52.5. This signifies sectoral growth, a significant contributor to over two-thirds of the U.S. economy.

US Non-Manufacturing PMI
Source: Trading Economics

Further fueling the dollar’s ascent, the labor market demonstrated resilience. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits plummeted to 216,000, a level unseen since February, surprising economists who had predicted an increase to 234,000 claims.

These encouraging developments have heightened expectations of another Federal Reserve interest rate hike this year, despite the prevailing sentiment that rates will remain steady at the upcoming meeting later this month. The CME FedWatch tool indicates a greater than 40% chance of a rate increase in November, underscoring the dollar’s attractiveness for investors.

US Fed rate hike expectation chart for November
Source: CMEGroup

Yuan, Euro, and Pound Struggle Against the Dollar

On the flip side, the Chinese yuan has faced headwinds, plummeting to a 16-year low against the dollar. China grapples with challenges stemming from a property market downturn, sluggish consumer spending, and dwindling credit growth, pushing the yuan to 7.3282 per dollar, its weakest since December 2006.

Meanwhile, the euro and British pound are feeling the heat from the dollar’s vigor and their own domestic concerns. The euro slipped to $1.0706, nearing its lowest point since June, while the pound edged down to $1.2478, approaching its weakest level since early June.


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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