The U.S. Dollar Index was down slightly Monday morning on news the negotiations in Washington to raise the U.S. debt ceiling have apparently stalled as leaders were unable to strike a deal over the weekend.
Also Monday, investors weighed headlines that Moody’s cut its rating on Greek debt further into junk territory.
PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (NYSEArca: UUP) was set to follow its benchmark lower. The exchange traded fund follows the movement of the greenback against a basket of currencies.
In precious metals, SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) added about 1% as gold climbed to a fresh record on the global debt jitters. Markets are worried a failure to raise the U.S. limit by Aug. 2 could trigger some type of default on government debt.
“The fact that they seem to be jumping from one type of proposal to another and not converging on anything is beginning to worry markets,” said Steven Englander, a currency strategist at Citigroup.
Investors have been seeking other safe havens outside the dollar, such as gold, silver and the Swiss franc, which is near a record high versus the U.S. dollar.
“U.S. dollar down, Swiss franc higher is the most obvious trade on the back of disappointment,”said Imre Speizer, a strategist in Auckland at Westpac Banking Corp., Australia’s second largest lender. “A half-baked answer would probably also be disappointing to the markets. They’re looking for a solution that’s not just short-term, but something long-term and that’s what the ratings agencies have said they want.”
White House officials and Republican leaders are reassuring the public and global markets that the U.S. will avoid a default. However, there is still no deal on the table to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. [Charting Euro ETFs Next Moves.]