U.S. Dollar Slides As It Intervenes On SVB Collapse

The U.S. dollar slid on Monday as authorities stepped in to cap the fallout from the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, with investors hoping the Federal Reserve will take a less aggressive monetary path.

The U.S. government announced several measures early on Monday Asian hours, and said all SVB customers will have access to their deposits starting on Monday. Officials also said depositors of New York’s Signature Bank, which was closed Sunday by the New York state financial regulator, would also be made whole at no loss to the taxpayer.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against six rivals, fell 0.153 per cent at 104.080. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.34 per cent to 134.52 per dollar, the highest in a month as investors made a move to safe-haven Asian currencies.

“The currency market is still digesting all the news related to the collapse of SVB,” said Carol Kong, currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank Of Australia.

“Given all the measures taken by the authorities the market should be calmer at least for the time being, but if there are concerns about regional banks, we could easily see the dollar and Japanese yen rally again.”

The euro was up 0.44 per cent to $1.069, while sterling was last trading at $1.2085, up 0.47 per cent on the day.

The Australian dollar rose 0.79 per cent to $0.663, while the kiwi rose 0.36 per cent to $0.616.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin last rose 11.12 per cent to $22,330.00. Ethereum last rose 12.12 per cent to $1,598.90.

The SVB collapse led investors to speculate that the Fed would now be reluctant to rock the boat by hiking interest rates by a super-sized 50 basis points this month, with the spotlight firmly on Tuesday’s inflation data.

“From the perspective of the FOMC, their concern is still inflation and inflation has not really decelerated,” Kong said, adding that tomorrow’s CPI will continue to show that inflation remains persistently high.

“Given what’s happened in the U.S. financial system, a 25 basis point hike is more likely than a 50 basis point hike.”

Fed fund futures surged in early trading to imply only a 17 per cent chance of a half-point hike, compared to around 70 per cent before the SVB news broke last week. – Reuters

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