Global Macro: Investors Price In Weaker Dollar

TheStreet.com

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Investors appear to be pricing in a weaker U.S. dollar, which has broader ramifications for global asset markets.

The first chart below is of Markets Vectors Gold Miners ETF over Guggenheim S&P 500 Equal Weight. The pair represents the relative strength of gold-mining stocks in U.S. equity markets.

Gold miners have recently broken out of their yearly relative downtrend, as the dollar has shown considerable weakness versus the euro and yen.

A turn up in both physical gold and gold-mining stocks is bearish for the dollar and may indicate a turn higher in long-dated Treasuries, which are now at their yearly lows.

The next chart is of iShares MSCI Emerging Market ETF over Vanguard Total World Stock Index ETF. The pair measures the relative strength of emerging-market equities versus the broader world market.

Emerging-market equities had seen a vast selloff as inflation expectations diminished, the U.S. dollar strengthened, and the Treasury yield curve steepened.

Now, however, a weaker dollar and flattening U.S. yield curve could drive funds back to foreign assets. Commodities have reversed direction off of their yearly lows, and Chinese central bank flexibility is prompting investors to be more positive about emerging-market equities.

It appears that emerging-market equities have hit a bottom, and if the U.S. economy remains relatively weak, then emerging markets should bounce off yearly lows.

The last chart is of United States Oil Price over CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust. The pair measures the strength of West Texas crude oil versus the Swiss franc, a traditional safe-haven currency. Oil has recently spiked higher on fundamentals and a weaker dollar, and resides as yearly highs.

The pair is consolidating, but looks to be overbought. A selloff in oil could be a catalyst for selling U.S. equities. That could further push investors into gold assets and Treasuries, as well as into assets abroad.

Much of the price action lies with the direction of the dollar and overall outlook for the U.S. economy. Don't expect oil to break lower just yet.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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