By Marc Jones
LONDON The dollar surged to a near 14-year high before pulling back on Thursday, clocking up records against a range of other top world currencies and skittling emerging markets.Stronger data from the world's biggest economy and thinner volumes on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday underpinned the dollar's gains.The dollar .DXY had eased off highs by midday after pushing its way past more of last year's peaks against the euro to reach $1.0515, with only the March 2015 high of $1.0457 standing in the way of a drive toward parity. [FRX/]The yen JPY= had skidded to an eight-month low and China's yuan CNH=D3 to an 8-1/2 year low, while the highly sensitive Turkish lira TRY= and Indian rupee IDR= hit new troughs. [EMRG/FRX]"There doesn't seem to be anything stopping U.S. yields going higher in the near-term so I think people are going to stay on the dollar trend," State Street Global Markets' head of global macro strategy, Michael Metcalfe, said. "The only risk to this are that the dislocations in markets outside of the U.S., particularly in emerging markets, get to a point where they start to feed back into concerns (for the Federal Reserve as it looks to raise interest rates)," he said.In contrast to all the FX noise, European shares .FTEU3 saw a broadly quiet day, with most of the main bourses <0#.INDEXE> inching up on gains from chemical and insurance sector stocks but capped by weaker banks. [.EU]German business confidence data showed firms remained unfazed, for now at least, by the U.S. election win for Donald Trump and the political uncertainty bubbling in the euro zone.However, the European Central Bank delivered an unusually downbeat message, warning that global political shifts could compound existing vulnerabilities to rising interest rates and revive worries about the euro zone's weaker economies."This in turn could delay much-needed fiscal and structural reforms and could in a worst-case scenario reignite pressures on more vulnerable sovereigns," it said. "In particular, concerns about debt sustainability might re-emerge despite relatively benign financial market conditions."
It was enough to keep bond markets playing the transatlantic divide that has been widening again on bets that, while the United States may be about to raise interest rates, Europe is probably unlikely to follow suit for a couple of years.The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond, the benchmark for the region, fell 2 basis points (bps) to 0.26 percent, while Italy, which has been plagued by political concerns ahead of a referendum on constitutional reform, outperformed with yields down 5 bps to 2.08 percent.In the United States on Wednesday by contrast, the two-year Treasury yield US2YT=RR hit its highest since April 2010.
The firm dollar hit most emerging market currencies, with China's yuan nearing the 7 per dollar level for the first time since May 2008. [CNY/]State banks or foreign exchange authorities in China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines were all suspected of intervening to slow the slide in their currencies, traders said. Turkey's lira TRY= and India's rupee both sank to record lows, though the lira clawed back some ground as its central bank raised one of its benchmark interest rates for the first time since 2014."Exchange rate movements due to recently heightened global uncertainty and volatility pose upside risks on the inflation outlook," the central bank's monetary policy committee said in its statement.MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS lost 0.4 percent, though the drop in the yen lifted the export-orientated Nikkei in Tokyo .N225 to a near 11-month high. [.T]
Hong Kong's Hang Seng .HSI shed 0.2 percent while higher metals prices lifted China's blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 0.4 percent. Oil prices were little changed amid all the dollar commotion and ahead of a planned OPEC-led cut in crude production at a meeting on Nov. 30. [O/R]U.S. crude was up 20 cents at $48.22 a barrel CLc1 and Brent LCOc1 was at $49.19.Industrial metals remained red-hot on hopes of a revival in U.S. manufacturing and infrastructure spending under Trump. London zinc CMZN3 hit an 8-year high and copper CMCU3 jumped for a fourth day in a row to put $6,000 a ton within reach. [MET/L]"Strong durable goods orders in the U.S. helped buoy investors who have viewed Trump's upcoming presidency as a positive for industrial metals demand," ANZ said in a report.For Reuters new Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.biz/cms/?pageId=livemarkets (Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne and Balazs Koranyi in Frankfurt; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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