THE world’s most important currency is flexing its muscles.
In the three weeks following Donald Trump’s victory in America’s presidential elections, the dollar had one of its sharpest rises ever against a basket of rich-country peers.
It is now 40% above its lows in 2011. It has strengthened relative to emerging-market currencies, too.
The yuan has fallen to its lowest level against the dollar since 2008; anxious Chinese officials are said to be pondering tighter restrictions on foreign takeovers by domestic firms to stem the downward pressure.
India, which has troubles of its own making (see article), has seen its currency reach an all-time low against the greenback.
Other Asian currencies have plunged to depths not seen since the financial crisis of 1997-98.
to think carefully about something for a long time before reaching a decision.
If you stem something, you stop it spreading, increasing, or continuing.
to fall quickly from a high position
The dollar has been gradually gaining strength for years. But the prompt for this latest surge is the prospect of a shift in the economic-policy mix in America.
The weight of investors’ money has bet that Mr Trump will cut taxes and spend more public funds on fixing America’s crumbling infrastructure.
A big fiscal boost would lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster rate to check inflation.
America’s ten-year bond yield has risen to 2.3%, from almost 1.7% on election night. Higher yields are a magnet for capital flows.
to cause something to happen or be done
to break something into very small pieces, or to be broken into very small pieces
to stop existing or being effective
The government seemed powerless to prevent its weak economy from crumbling further.
to help something to increase, improve, or become more successful
to make someone feel more positive or more confident
Zippier growth in the world’s largest economy sounds like something to welcome.
A widely cited precedent is Ronald Reagan’s first term as president, a time of widening budget deficits and high interest rates, during which the dollar surged.
That episode caused trouble abroad and this time could be more complicated still.Although America’s economy makes up a smaller share of the world economy, global financial and credit markets have exploded in size.
The greenback has become more pivotal. That makes a stronger dollar more dangerous for the world and for America.
If you say that something or someone zips somewhere, you mean that they move there very quickly.
extremely important and affecting how something develops
Novus ordo seclorum.
America’s relative clout as a trading power has been in steady decline: the number of countries for which it is the biggest export market dropped from 44 in 1994 to 32 two decades later.
But the dollar’s supremacy as a means of exchange and a store of value remains unchallenged.
Some aspects of the greenback’s power are clear to see.
By one estimate in 2014 a de facto dollar zone, comprising America and countries whose currencies move in line with the greenback, encompassed perhaps 60% of the world’s population and 60% of its GDP.
the authority to make decisions, or the power to influence events
to include a lot of people or things
to include or surround an area completely