US dollar strength. Causes and opportunities

Catching a falling knife is never a good idea.

A strong USD, and moderation of GDP and earnings growth estimates are happening at the same time as global economies continue to increase fiscal and trade imbalances.

The collapse of emerging market currencies from a modest reduction in Fed balance sheet and small rate rise shows the extent of the imbalances built by many economies in the QE years. As USD strengthens and capital flows turn to the US, emerging market debt refinancing becomes more challenging.

US dollar strength and gold divergence is interesting. Seems market is pricing a disinflationary outcome of the global slowdown -as gold is usually an inflation hedge- and a flight to safety.

A strong USD is GOOD for the US.

  • US exports 12% of GDP. High added-value doesn’t need devaluation.
  • Higher purchasing power for savers and salaries, better consumption.
  • Attracts capital, makes Treasuries and US investment more attractive and safe for world investors.

US growth improved in June, particularly strong vs weakening China, Eurozone and Emerging markets.

June ISM Manufacturing Index rose to 60.2 vs China and Eurozone.

PMIs show the evidence of global slowdown. Manufacturing PMI in June 2018

China 51.0 vs 51.5 in January
Eurozone 54.9 vs 59.6 in January
Japan 53.0 vs 54.8 in January.

USD strength is less and less an impact on profits.

  • Technology, high-margin, high added-value firms are more than 27% of S&P 500.
  • US exports are less than 30% of S&P revenues. Corporate profits correlation with the USD is not very strong at all. US profits mostly suffer when oil rises.
  • Stronger dollar
    More inflows into US assets and Treasuries
    Rate hike path confirmed

About Daniel Lacalle

Daniel Lacalle (Madrid, 1967). PhD Economist and Fund Manager. Author of bestsellers "Life In The Financial Markets" and "The Energy World Is Flat" as well as "Escape From the Central Bank Trap". Daniel Lacalle (Madrid, 1967). PhD Economist and Fund Manager. Frequent collaborator with CNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, Hedgeye, Epoch Times, Mises Institute, BBN Times, Wall Street Journal, El Español, A3 Media and 13TV. Holds the CIIA (Certified International Investment Analyst) and masters in Economic Investigation and IESE.

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