The charts that matter: the dollar extends its fall

The US dollar took quite the tumble this week. Here’s how the charts that matter most to the global economy reacted.

Welcome back.

This week’s MoneyWeek magazine casts its eye over the Greensill affair, with a briefing on just how big a problem political lobbying is. Our main investment feature, however, is on the “new agricultural revolution” – the rise of lab-grown meat. We look at the current state of the technology, and pick some of the best stocks and funds to buy to get in on the trend, while MoneyWeek regular contributor and entrepreneur Jim Mellon gives his take on the sector.

Merryn’s back on podcast duties. This week she talks to Peter Spiller of the Capital Gearing Trust – one which I’m sure many of you hold. They have a fascinating and wide-ranging chat that covers investing through the pandemic, plus inflation, financial repression, gold, bitcoin and property. Listen to what Peter’s got to say here. And for those who prefer it, we’re now including a transcript below the podcast.

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This week’s “Too Embarrassed To Ask” video takes a look at inflation, too, explaining the difference between two of the most important indicators – “producer price inflation” and “consumer price inflation”. Watch that here.

Here are the links for this week’s editions of Money Morning and other web stories you may have missed.

Now for the charts of the week.

The charts that matter

Gold continued to claw some ground back. As so often happens, this occurred just as investors appeared to be starting to give up on the yellow metal. A combination of bond yields dipping back (which means interest rates going down) plus very strong economic data in the US (which hints at a more inflationary future) helped, as gold generally does well when real interest rates (rates adjusted for inflation) are falling.

Gold price chart

(Image credit: Gold price chart)

(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) continued its recent slide lower, quite possibly because strong US data is boosting risk appetite (investors are more inclined to leave the safety of the dollar for more risky climes when times look good, which means that – a little counter-intuitively – strong economic data in the US doesn’t always result in a stronger US dollar).

US dollar index chart

(Image credit: US dollar index chart)

(DXY: three months)

However, the dollar’s weakness did not extend to the Chinese yuan (or renminbi) – when the red line is rising, the dollar is strengthening while the yuan is weakening. This is quite possibly because of jitters in the Chinese bond market.

USD/CNY currency chart

(Image credit: USD/CNY currency chart)

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

The yield on the ten-year US government bond downward drift continued despite recent strong data. The bond market may simply need time to digest the recent move.

US Treasury bond yields chart

(Image credit: US Treasury bond yields chart)

(Ten-year US Treasury yield: three months)

The yield on the Japanese ten-year bond was also lower.

Japanese government bond yield chart

(Image credit: Japanese government bond yield chart)

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

While the yield on the ten-year German Bund perked up a little, but remains negative.

German Bunds yield chart

(Image credit: German Bunds yield chart)

(Ten-year Bund yield: three months)

Copper was also in a more positive mood, although it’s still below its recent peak.

Copper price chart

(Image credit: Copper price chart)

(Copper: nine months)

And the closely-related Aussie dollar took courage from a rising copper price and rallied sharply against the weakening US dollar.

AUD/USD Currency chart

(Image credit: AUD?USD Currency chart)

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

Cryptocurrency bitcoin hit yet another record high this week, but slackened off towards the end of the week as Coinbase went public.

Bitcoin price chart

(Image credit: Bitcoin price chart)

(Bitcoin: three months)

US weekly initial jobless claims slid by 193,000 to 576,000, compared to 769,000 last week (revised up from 744,000). It’s the lowest number of claims since March 2020. The four-week moving average fell to 683,000, down 47,250 from 730,250 (which was revised up from 723,750) the week before.

US initial weekly jobless claims chart

(Image credit: US initial weekly jobless claims chart)

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

The oil price took another big jump after drifting for a while.

Brent crude oil price chart

(Image credit: Brent crude oil price chart)

(Brent crude oil: three months)

Amazon built on last week’s gains before correcting a little. But it seems investors’ appetite for big tech is not quite done yet.

Amazon share price chart

(Image credit: Amazon share price chart)

(Amazon: three months)

And Tesla also saw some decent gains.

Tesla share price chart

(Image credit: Tesla share price chart)

(Tesla: three months)

Have a great weekend.

Ben Judge

Ben studied modern languages at London University's Queen Mary College. After dabbling unhappily in local government finance for a while, he went to work for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. The launch of the paper's website,, in the early years of the dotcom craze, saw Ben move online to manage the Business and Motors channels before becoming deputy editor with responsibility for all aspects of online production for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News websites, along with the papers' Edinburgh Festivals website.

Ben joined MoneyWeek as website editor in 2008, just as the Great Financial Crisis was brewing. He has written extensively for the website and magazine, with a particular emphasis on alternative finance and fintech, including blockchain and bitcoin. As an early adopter of bitcoin, Ben bought when the price was under $200, but went on to spend it all on foolish fripperies.