Emerging market currencies hovered around record-high levels on Monday as weak U.S. jobs data kept the dollar under pressure, while South Africa's rand rose to a 16-month peak after Moody's skipped a sovereign rating review. MSCI's index of emerging market currencies rose 0.3%, staying just below a record high hit on Friday, as rising commodity prices and weakness in the dollar benefited risk-driven assets. A recent jump in commodity prices has benefited the currencies of major exporters, including the Russian rouble , Mexican peso, Chilean peso and Brazil's real.
U.S. dollar positioning was derived from net contracts of International Monetary Market speculators in the Japanese yen, euro, British pound and Swiss franc, as well as the Canadian and Australian dollars. In a wider measure of dollar positioning that includes net contracts on the New Zealand dollar, Mexican peso, Brazilian real and Russian ruble, the greenback posted a net short position of $5.711 billion this week, from net shorts of $7.747 billion the week before. Against a basket of six rival currencies, the U.S. dollar was down 0.71% for the week, its second consecutive weekly fall.
The value of the net short dollar position fell to $13.40 billion in the period ended March 16, the smallest short position since the period ended June 9, compared with a net short of $22.29 billion the previous week. In a wider measure of dollar positioning that includes net contracts on the New Zealand dollar, Mexican peso, Brazilian real and Russian rouble, the U.S. dollar posted a net short position of $12.83 billion, compared with a net short of $23.11 billion a week earlier.