Most U.S. dollar drivers point to a stronger dollar: attractiveness of U.S. assets; policy differentials; real interest-rate differentials; terms of trade; weaker Yuan; and capital flows/hedging activity. Speculative positioning, however, is a negative and suggests the dollar rally might at least take a pause in the near term.
The U.S. 10/2-year curve just fell below the key threshold of 50 bps. Over the last 25 years, the yield curve proceeded to invert after this “Rubicon” was crossed. That doesn’t mean imminent trouble. The lead time of a yield-curve signal is lengthy, but it—and real yields—definitely warrant close monitoring.
The Citi Economic Surprise Index fell to a negative extreme, while the Citi Inflation Surprise Index made all-time highs—a “stagflation” gap. Overall, if history repeats itself, the extreme ESI-ISI gap is apt to resolve itself, and the effect on asset markets will likely be limited. The global tightening trend will be a far more persuasive driver.