The dollar rose to its highest in nine months against a basket of major currencies on Friday and posted its best week in a year as investors packed on bets that the administration of President-elect Donald Trump would pump up U.S. inflation.
Investors expect Trump’s proposals to deport illegal immigrants, cut free-trade deals and unleash large fiscal stimulus measures will boost U.S. inflation.
Backed by a stronger-than-expected U.S. consumer sentiment report and solid gains against the euro and Canadian dollar, the dollar index rose to its highest since Feb. 1.
The dollar also extended gains against the Chinese yuan and Mexican peso to historic levels on expectations that emerging markets will suffer most if Trump turns his protectionist rhetoric into action.
“Everybody loves U.S. assets, so hence why the emerging markets currencies and equities and obviously their own bonds are all under pressure,” said Dean Popplewell, chief currency strategist at Oanda in Toronto.
“We continue to see the squeeze in emerging markets. Certainly people will want to move their capital, stateside at the moment, and with higher rates and reflation and inflation U.S. Treasuries will eventually be coveted,” he added.
China fixed the yuan another 0.2 percent lower at 6.8120 per dollar and less tightly controlled offshore rates reached as high as 6.85 yuan, pointing to expectations of more losses. It was the lowest for the yuan against the dollar in six years.
The Mexican peso sank 3 percent to a record low of 21.395 per dollar.
The Brazilian real and South African rand, representing two of the largest emerging markets in the world, both fell by more than 2 percent.
Expectations of rising U.S. price pressures if Trump delivers on promises to boost public spending and put barriers on cheap imports have driven Treasury yields higher and boosted the dollar since his victory, with emerging market currencies having borne the brunt of the selling.
The euro fell to its lowest against the dollar since March, touching $1.0836. The Canadian dollar fell 0.5 percent against the greenback, its lowest since late February.
The dollar erased most of its losses on the day against the Japanese yen to trade little changed from late Thursday’s levels. It gained 3.5 percent versus the yen for the week.
The dollar index, which tracks the dollar against six rival world currencies, rose more than 2 percent this week, its best one-week gain since November 2015.