Tuesday , April 20 2021

Goldman cuts short dollar call as US yields spoil bet


Almost six months after Goldman Sachs Group Inc recommended shorting the dollar, it’s calling it quits on the trade.
In a note titled “tactical retreat,” Goldman’s currency team closed its recommended short greenback position against a basket of Group-of-10 commodity currencies, including the Australian and New Zealand dollars. The firm joins hedge funds and other investors capitulating on bearish dollar bets after surging Treasury yields triggered a rebound in the US currency, capsising one of the world’s most crowded macro trades.
“Although we still expect these currencies to appreciate versus the dollar over the coming quarters, firm US growth and rising bond yields may keep the greenback supported over the short-term,” strategists including Zach Pandl wrote in a note. “After a choppy few months we are closing our recommended dollar short trade.”
What was a near-consensus call at the end of last year has come undone as improving economic data and an 80 basis point surge in 10-year Treasury yields boosted the dollar’s appeal relative to peers. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has risen by more than 2% this year.
Yet Goldman’s call wasn’t a money-loser: The trade would have netted a 5% gain since its inception even though it has been “roughly flat” since the start of the year, the strategists wrote.
Goldman is “still quite bearish on the broad dollar outlook both from a cyclical standpoint and from a structural standpoint,” Pandl
said in an interview on Bloomberg TV.
He added that the greenback is still expensive relative to peers and the recovering global economy and a widening US current account deficit could weigh on the currency over the longer term.
Opportunities to short the dollar may re-emerge as Europe’s pandemic situation improves, the Goldman team wrote. It sees the euro gaining in the next three months to the $1.21 level before testing $1.28 in a year. The common currency rises 0.5% to trade around $1.1814 at 12:37pm Monday in New York.
“Clear evidence that Europe’s Covid situation is getting under control would likely warrant fresh dollar short recommendations,” the strategists wrote.
Yet for now, the US economy is showing signs of gaining strength, which could bolster the dollar by driving up bond yields. The US Labour Department reported that employers in March added the most jobs in seven months, with improvement across most industries.

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