Dollar perched at 3-1/2 month highs on firmer U.S. yields

The dollar index stood at 92.186 against a basket of six major currencies

  
Bundles of banknotes of U.S. Dollar are pictured at a currency exchange shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 15, 2018.

Bundles of banknotes of U.S. Dollar are pictured at a currency exchange shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 15, 2018.

REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

LONDON - The U.S. dollar hit a 3-1/2 month high on Monday as rising U.S. Treasury yields spooked investors and boosted the greenback's safe-haven appeal.

After falling 4% in the last quarter of 2020, the dollar has strengthened by nearly 2.5% year-to-date as investors expect the broad rise in U.S. bond yields to weigh on stretched equity valuations and boost demand for the U.S. currency.

Recent economic figures are also supportive with U.S. data showing non-farm payrolls surged by 379,000 jobs last month while the U.S. Senate approved President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion recovery package. 

"The U.S. labour market is healing quickly, President Biden's gargantuan relief package has been approved by the Senate, and America has stepped up its immunization game, administering a record number of vaccines this weekend," Marios Hadjikyriacos, an investment analyst at XM, said.

But while U.S. yields climbed within striking distance of a one-year high above 1.62% hit on Friday, German yields dipped nearly 5 basis points last week, pulling the euro to a near four-month low below $1.19.

BofA analyst Athanasios Vamvakidis said the potent mix of U.S. stimulus, faster reopening and greater consumer firepower was a clear positive for the dollar.

The dollar index stood at 92.30 against a basket of six major currencies, up 0.4%, its highest level since late-November.

The Australian dollar weakened 0.3% to $0.7658. The New Zealand dollar was down about 0.8%.

The currencies have been in demand because of their links to global commodities trading, but the dollar's bounce dented both.

The dollar held near a one-month high against the British pound, at $1.3819 . Against the low-yielding yen, the greenback held firmer at 108.56 yen, having hit a nine-month high of 108.645 on Friday.

(Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Alexander Smith) ((saikat.chatterjee@thomsonreuters.com; +44-20-7542-1713; Reuters Messaging: saikat.chatterjee.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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