© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A picture illustration shows U.S. 100-dollar bank notes taken in Tokyo August 2, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/File Photo
By Herbert Lash and Joice Alves
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) -The dollar rose on Wednesday on safe-haven buying after Credit Suisse’s stock tumbled following the disclosure of “weaknesses” in its financial reporting that renewed investor concerns that a full-blown global banking crisis may be brewing.
European currencies fell sharply against the dollar, with Credit Suisse shares plummeting 24.2% after its biggest investor, citing regulatory issues about the size of its holding, said it was unable to increase its stake.
Credit Suisse’s 2022 annual report published on Tuesday cited “material weaknesses” in its internal controls over financial reporting, noting that it had not yet stemmed customer outflows.
Concerns about the Swiss bank led the European banking index to fall 6.9%, its biggest one-day drop in nearly 13 months, and triggered a plunge in European and U.S. bond yields. Investors question whether the Federal Reserve and other central banks can keep hiking interest rates to curb inflation.
“The concern with Credit Suisse is whether or not this is going to turn into a full-blown global banking problem,” said Bipan Rai, North America head of FX strategy at CIBC Capital Markets in Toronto.
“It really looks like central banks are caught between a rock and a hard place between tightening policy to address issues in the real economy and then, of course, the spillover effect is the fact that there’s a financial side to that.”
The , which measures the U.S. currency against six others, rose 0.868% and the euro fell 1.36% to $1.0586. Higher Treasury yields than other government debt have driven dollar strength this year.
The dollar also rose 1.63% against the Swiss franc, while sterling traded down 0.67% at $1.2076.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.58% to 133.42 per dollar.
“This is two-fold: there’s just a massive flight to quality, safe-haven buying, and the other is a repricing of rate hike expectations,” said Kevin Flanagan, head of fixed income strategy at WisdomTree.
“We’ve had this dramatic change in pricing for what the Fed is going to do and that’s in conjunction with the actual buying, and the reason why the focus is on the two-year” note, he said.
Fed funds futures, which reflect the overnight rate that banks use to lend to each other, plummeted. The December contract tumbled to 3.767% from about 5% a week ago, with a potential rate cut now seen in June.
Two-year Treasury notes, which move in step with interest rate expectations, slid 26.1 basis points to 3.964%. Futures priced in a 60.1% chance the Fed does not raise rates at its policy meeting on March 21-22, CME’s FedWatch Tool showed.
“With the regional banks playing a key role in U.S. credit extension, the Fed will not raise interest rates next week and we have likely seen the peak in both short and long rates during this cycle,” said Torsten Slok, chief economist at Apollo Global Management (NYSE:), in a note.
In Europe, money markets also changed their bets on rate hikes by the European Central Bank amid the banking turmoil.
“This morning’s Credit Suisse news is doing all of the damage in FX markets as European bank stocks take another beating today,” said Simon Harvey, head of FX Analysis at Monex.
“The sell-off in these stocks only raises concerns over financial stability again, which is having a knock-on effect in European government bond and swap markets as the prospect of an more restricted ECB (European Central Bank) comes back into view,” he said.
Markets are now pricing in a 60% chance of a 25 basis point hike in euro zone rates on Thursday. Earlier in the day, they were pricing in a 90% chance of a 50 bps hike.
Currency bid prices at 2:59 p.m. (1859 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Dollar index 104.6100 103.7300 +0.87% 1.082% +105.1000 +103.4400
Euro/Dollar $1.0586 $1.0733 -1.36% -1.20% +$1.0760 +$1.0517
Dollar/Yen 133.4350 134.2300 -0.60% +1.77% +135.1050 +132.2150
Euro/Yen 141.27 144.04 -1.92% +0.69% +144.9600 +139.4900
Dollar/Swiss 0.9289 0.9142 +1.61% +0.45% +0.9323 +0.9125
Sterling/Dollar $1.2075 $1.2160 -0.69% -0.14% +$1.2181 +$1.2012
Dollar/Canadian 1.3747 1.3690 +0.42% +1.46% +1.3814 +1.3662
Aussie/Dollar $0.6622 $0.6683 -0.88% -2.83% +$0.6711 +$0.6590
Euro/Swiss 0.9833 0.9809 +0.24% -0.63% +0.9855 +0.9707
Euro/Sterling 0.8765 0.8826 -0.69% -0.89% +0.8844 +0.8719
NZ $0.6202 $0.6236 -0.54% -2.32% +$0.6264 +$0.6173
Dollar/Norway 10.7370 10.5450 +1.99% +9.59% +10.8390 +10.5160
Euro/Norway 11.3713 11.3210 +0.44% +8.36% +11.4215 +11.2878
Dollar/Sweden 10.5786 10.4703 -0.31% +1.64% +10.6562 +10.3948
Euro/Sweden 11.1992 11.2338 -0.31% +0.44% +11.2567 +11.1580