The dollar went up to a new 20-year high on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by another 75 basis points and hinted at more big increases at its next meetings.
Since the Fed’s decision was widely predicted, the dollar’s gains were capped. Still, the trend remains bullish for the dollar for some time, as rising U.S. rates will persist.
The dollar’s at its strongest point in the last twenty years, and it seems to further improve from here. Economies and markets all across the world are being shaken up by the renewed strength of the dollar, with both winners and losers emerging.
After the new finance minister of the United Kingdom unveiled a set of tax cuts designed to promote the country’s economy, the British pound dropped to a record low versus the dollar early on Monday.
The Federal Reserve has revised its forecasts to show that its policy rate will increase to 4.4% by the end of the year and then to 4.6% in 2023 in an effort to rein in inflation. There will likely be no decrease in interest rates until at least 2024.
US Dollar Versus World Currencies
The strengthening of the dollar is contributing to the rise of painful inflation in the United Kingdom and across much of Europe.
As markets reacted negatively to a government tax cut and expenditure plan, the British pound hit an all-time low versus the dollar on Monday. Moreover, China, which maintains strict control over its currency, recently set the yuan at its lowest level in two years while taking measures to moderate its slide.
There is already a risk of famine in Nigeria and Somalia, and the high dollar is making imported food, fuel, and medication more expensive. Aside from increasing the likelihood of default in countries like Argentina, Egypt, and Kenya, a high dollar also poses a threat to foreign investment in emerging economies like India and South Korea.
The effects of Washington’s policy decisions tend to be far-reaching. With the greatest economy and significant oil and natural gas reserves, the United States is a global superpower. However, its impact on international trade and finance is enormous.
As the world’s reserve currency, the dollar is the de facto standard for international trade and payment. When traded internationally, commodities like food and energy are typically valued in dollars.
And so is a considerable portion of the debt carried by poorer countries. According to research conducted by the International Monetary Fund, over 40% of all transactions around the world are conducted in dollars, regardless of whether the United States is involved or not.
In addition, the dollar’s value in relation to other major currencies like the Japanese yen has recently reached a new all-time high not seen in decades.
1. US Importers
Companies can save money by purchasing goods from abroad. According to Jordan Rochester, senior foreign exchange strategist at Nomura Securities, “for importers, it’s a bullish story.”
As long as the goods are not priced in dollars, “anyone importing from the likes of China, buying raw metals and energy from elsewhere, that is going to be positive for you.”
In addition, an abundant supply of dollars dampens the impact of inflation.
2. US Travelers
For the first time in nearly two decades, one dollar is now worth exactly one euro. And the two currencies remain quite close to each other.
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That being the case, right now is a great time for tourists from the United States to visit Europe or anywhere else in the world. Because prices for lodging and dining are at an all-time low. It must feel like a clearance sale to them.
1. International Corporations
U.S.-based multinational corporations’ top executives have begun to express concern that the dollar’s strength is eroding its profitability.
During a recent earnings call, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff observed, “We had a tremendous quarter. But yet again, the dollar had an even stronger quarter.”
Salesforce may have its headquarters in San Francisco. But its software can be purchased in every major currency across the world. A high dollar is expected to cost the corporation over $800 million this fiscal year, Benioff said.
According to Michael Klein, a professor of international economic relations at Tufts University. Businesses like Salesforce feel the pinch when converting foreign earnings into dollars.
Since the currency is stronger, he says, “repatriated profits from abroad, in euros or pounds or yen, are likely to be worth less in dollars.”
2. Developing Economies
When the dollar rises in value, it has a multiplier effect on two issues that particularly harm emerging economies:
- The dollar is the de facto standard for international trade. Consequently, commodities like oil, wheat, and soybeans produced in emerging markets will cost more.
- Countries with large amounts of debt denominated in dollars feel the pinch when the dollar strengthens. Both the interest payments and the cost to refinance will increase.
3. American Exporters
What’s great for importers is bad for many exporters. In countries where the local currency is valued in relation to the dollar. U.S.-made products become more expensive and less appealing to consumers.
4. United States Tourism
People in numerous countries whose currencies are weaker than the dollar may rethink their plans to visit the United States. With a stronger currency, their trips will cost more.
There will be winners and losers as a result of the renewed strength of the dollar in international trade. After the new finance minister of the UK announced a set of tax cuts designed to promote the country’s economy. The value of the British pound plummeted to an all-time low versus the dollar.
The news that the U.S. dollar was so close to equaling the value of the British pound created a state of urgency in Britain. The financial institution that serves as a nation’s central bank. Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England, issued a statement to reassure the public. Saying the institution “is monitoring developments in financial markets extremely closely.”
The dollar’s dominance over other currencies has had positive and negative effects. Much like the employment market. Where historically low unemployment rates have created an abundance of job possibilities for workers. While also creating labor shortages for businesses.
The dollar’s value has been bolstered in the wake of recent global shocks, especially the conflict in Ukraine. Since investors, businesses, and countries tend to store their reserves in dollars during times of uncertainty. The primary motivation for a strong dollar, though, is the ongoing struggle to contain inflation.
To counteract the current trend of rising prices, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates. And indicated that further increases are expected this year. The dollar will get stronger when rates are raised further.
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