The Tell: Speculators bet the U.S. dollar is poised for a rebound after longest losing streak in 3 years

by | Apr 17, 2023 | Stock Market

Speculators are betting that the U.S. dollar is poised for a comeback after the buck logged its longest losing streak in nearly three years on Friday. Leveraged funds, a group that includes hedge funds, commodity trading advisers and other speculators, are betting the U.S. dollar will appreciate against a group of major currencies including the British pound
the euro
the yen
the Swiss franc
the Canadian dollar
the Australian dollar
and the New Zealand dollar
according to the latest weekly data series released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This marks the first time since January 2022 that speculators are using futures and options to bet that the dollar will strengthen against such a broad group of its rivals.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a gauge of the buck’s strength against a basket of rivals heavily weighted toward the euro, logged its fifth straight weekly decline on Friday, according to FactSet data. That’s the longest losing streak for the popular gauge of the dollar’s value since the week ended July 31, 2020, when the index fell for the sixth straight week.

The dollar index is bouncing back after tumbling to a two-month low last week, according to FactSet data. Positioning suggests speculators are betting the dollar will climb in the weeks ahead by a narrow margin, according to an analysis from Rabobank. Some macro strategists are advising clients that the dollar could be headed higher over the coming weeks and months, although many on Wall Street expect the greenback to continue to slide as fed funds futures traders bet that the Fed will cut interest rates later this year, according to the CME’s FedWatch tool. See: The U.S. dollar is under fire from rival nations. What happens to markets if the greenback loses its world dominance? Matthew Hornbach, global head of macro strategy at Morgan Stanley, recommended the banks’ clients bet on a dollar rebound in a research note shared with MarketWatch on Monday. Investors are underestimating the possibility that the dollar could benefit from another bout of safe-haven buying, which helped to support the buck during 2022 as both U.S. stocks and bonds weakened. The dollar index traded north of 114 in late September, its strongest level in more than two decades. Since then, it has fallen more than 10% to 102.14 in recent trade.

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