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Should You Bet Against the Dollar? Here's Why It Might Be Risky

Betting Against the Dollar: A Challenge Amid US Exceptionalism and Geopolitical Risks

In 2024, the US dollar has continued its reign, gaining over 4% as the dollar index (DXY) reflects its strength against both developed and emerging-market currencies.

The DXY Dollar Index tracks the US dollar's performance against a basket of major global currencies, including the euro, yen, pound, and more.

It's a key indicator for forex traders because it reflects the overall strength or weakness of the dollar in the global market. By following the DXY, traders can gauge the US dollar's trend and make informed trading decisions based on its movements.

forex price bar chart green red candles showing an upward trend over 4 hour time frame; moving average and Bollinger bands indicators
Dollar Rebounds in 2024

The global financial markets have encountered a force they didn't expect—the prolonged strength of the greenback. As the US economy remains robust with high-interest rates and inflation, investors have been forced to reconsider their bets against the dollar.

The US Exceptionalism and Strong Economy

The US economy has outperformed many expectations, with the International Monetary Fund predicting that its output will grow at twice the rate of its Group-of-Seven peers.

The sustained strength of the economy, coupled with stubborn inflation, has led to the Federal Reserve holding off on cutting interest rates. This has not only added to the dollar's appeal but has also supported US stocks and bond yields, creating an environment where betting against the dollar seems risky.

Geopolitical Risks and Haven Demand

In a time of mounting geopolitical strife, the US dollar stands as the ultimate currency haven. Events like the recent retaliatory strike by Israel on Iran have triggered a flight to safety, with the dollar surging as investors seek refuge.

The widely-followed "dollar smile" theory, which posits that the dollar rises when the US economy is either booming or in a deep slump, suggests that the currency will remain strong as long as US growth persists.

Potential Trades with the Dollar's Extended Reign

Given this backdrop, traders are rethinking their strategies. Many investors had expected the dollar to weaken, but the renewed strength suggests a shift in focus.

Here are some potential trades to consider with the US dollar's prolonged strength:

  • Short EUR/USD: As the European Central Bank (ECB) signals potential rate cuts, the euro may continue to weaken against the US dollar. With the US economy outpacing its European counterparts, a short position in EUR/USD could be a viable strategy.

  • Short JPY/USD: Despite Japan's decision to end the world's last negative interest rates, the yen has hit a 34-year low against the dollar. The contrast between Japan's slower growth and the US economy's resilience may lead to further depreciation of the yen.

  • Short GBP/USD: The UK is experiencing economic challenges and the prospect of rate cuts by the Bank of England. This, combined with the strength of the US dollar, makes a short position in GBP/USD an attractive trade.

  • Short SEK/USD: Sweden's central bank is under pressure to cut rates, which may further weaken the Swedish krona against the US dollar. The US's high yields and robust economy support this trade.

Dollar Trading

The US dollar's extended reign delivers a wake-up call for those betting against it. With the US economy outperforming and geopolitical risks driving haven demand, the greenback's strength seems likely to persist.

As the Federal Reserve maintains high-interest rates, investors must reconsider their strategies and potentially look for opportunities in trades that favour the US dollar against other major currencies.


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