The charts that matter: the dollar strengthens and Delta worries mount

The dollar strengthened this week as Delta fears resurfaced. Here's how it affected the charts that matter the most to the global economy.

Welcome back. 

On the cover of this week’s magazine, we’ve got why inflation is here to stay and why it is time to protect your portfolio. Unlike in 2008, widespread money printing and government spending are pushing up prices. But central banks can’t raise interest rates because the world can’t afford it, says John Stepek. 

Meanwhile, our big investment feature this week is how to put a price on big oil majors and how their stock prices are lagging despite a stunning recovery in oil prices to levels seen well before the pandemic. 

If you’re not already a subscriber, sign up for MoneyWeek magazine now.

This week’s “Too Embarrassed To Ask” video explains what a “share buyback” is. Share buy backs differ from dividends, and simply involve a company buying back its own shares.  Here's what it means and why it matters.

And joining Merryn on the podcast this week is Jeremy Grantham, GMO’s chief investment strategist. They talk about the current state of the markets and where investors can "hide" from all the craziness, plus inequality, inflation, and why you should rush out and get the longest fixed-rate mortgage you can. Listen to everything he has to say here.

Now for the charts of the week. 

The charts that matter 

Gold fell ahead of the US jobs report and as Fed officials signalled the possibility of an earlier tapering.


(Gold: three months)

The US dollar index (DXY – a measure of the strength of the dollar against a basket of the currencies of its major trading partners) climbed a little higher.

us dollar index

(US dollar index)

The Chinese yuan or (renminbi) reflected the dollar's strength, weakening a little (when the red line is rising, the dollar is strengthening while the yuan is weakening). 

(Chinese yuan to the US dollar: since 25 Jun 2019)

The yield on the ten-year US government bond rose which may partly explain why gold prices fell. 

us 10 year

(Ten-year US Treasury yield: three months)

The yield on the Japanese ten-year bond slipped as worries mounted over the spread of the deadly Delta variant. 

japanese yield

(Ten-year Japanese government bond yield: three months)

And the yield on the ten-year German Bund also fell. 

german yield

(Ten-year Bund yield: three months)

Copper fell on the firm dollar and on fears that the virus may suppress demand.


(Copper: nine months)

The Australian dollar drifted upwards a little. 

australian dollar

(Aussie dollar vs US dollar exchange rate: three months)

Bitcoin remained volatile as crypto received some concessions under the US infrastructure plan.


(Bitcoin: three months)

US weekly initial jobless claims jumped by 51,000 to 419,000. The four-week moving average rose by 250 to 384,500. 

fred graph

(US initial jobless claims, four-week moving average: since Jan 2020)

Brent remained volatile on virus concerns and a buildup in US stockpiles. 


(Brent crude oil: three months)

Amazon rose a little after a volatile week. 


(Amazon: three months)

Tesla continued to rise a week after it posted solid earnings. 


(Tesla: three months)

Have a great weekend. 


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