* Dollar index near 14-year high after upbeat US data
* Yen, euro, emerging market cen banks seen intervening
* Yuan near 7 per dollar level for first time since May 2008
* India's rupee, Turkish lira at record low
* Prospects of China, U.S. inflation buoy copper, zinc
* Crude oil little changed amid OPEC meeting uncertainty
By Marc Jones
LONDON, Nov 24 The dollar surged to a near
14-year high on Thursday, clocking up a string of milestones
against other top world currencies and clobbering emerging
Stronger data from the world's biggest economy underpinned
the greenback's gains, which were further amplified by thinner
volumes as U.S. traders stayed away for the Thanksgiving
The dollar pushed its way past more of last year's peaks
against the euro to hit $1.0550 in early European
action, with only the March 2015 high of $1.0457 standing in the
way of a drive towards parity.
The yen skidded to an eight-month low and China's
yuan to an 8-1/2 year low, while the highly sensitive
Turkish lira and Indian rupee hit new historic
"There doesn't seem to be anything stopping U.S. yields
going higher in the near-term so I think people are going to
stay on the dollar trend," said Michael Metcalfe, head of global
macro strategy at State Street Global Markets.
"The only risk to this are that the dislocations in markets
outside of the U.S., particularly in emerging markets, get to a
point where they start to feed back into concerns (for the
Federal Reserve as it looks to raise interest rates)," he said.
In contrast to all the FX noise, European shares
saw a broadly quiet start, with most of the main bourses
edging marginally higher on gains from chemical and
German business confidence data showed firms remained
unfazed, for now at least, by the U.S. election win for Donald
Trump and the political uncertainty currently bubbling in euro
zone peers such as Italy.
However, the European Central Bank delivered an unusually
downbeat message, warning that global political shifts could
compound existing vulnerabilities to rising interest rates and
revive worries about the euro zone's weaker sovereigns.
"This in turn could delay much-needed fiscal and structural
reforms and could in a worst-case scenario reignite pressures on
more vulnerable sovereigns," it added. "In particular, concerns
about debt sustainability might re-emerge despite relatively
benign financial market conditions."
It was enough to keep bond markets playing the transatlantic
divide that has been widening again on bets that, while the
United States may be about to raise interest rates, Europe is
unlikely to follow suit for a couple of years.
The yield on Germany's 10-year government bond, the
benchmark for the region, fell 4.2 basis points to 0.24 percent,
while Italy, which has been plagued by political concerns ahead
of a referendum on constitutional reform, outperformed with
yields down 7 basis points to 2.06 percent.
In the United States on Wednesday, the two-year government
bond yield hit its highest since April 2010.
The firm dollar kept most emerging market currencies on the
ropes, with China's yuan nearing the 7 per dollar level for the
first time since May 2008.
State banks or foreign exchange authorities in China, India,
Indonesia and the Philippines were all suspected of intervening
to slow the slide in their currencies traders said. Turkey's
lira and India's rupee both rang in record lows.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
lost 0.4 percent, though the drop in the yen
lifted the export-orientated Nikkei in Tokyo to a near
Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.2 percent while higher
metals prices lifted China's blue-chip CSI300 index
Oil prices were little changed amid all the dollar commotion
and ahead of a planned OPEC-led cut in crude production at a
meeting on Nov. 30.
U.S. crude was up 3 cents at $47.99 a barrel and
Brent was flat at $48.95.
Industrial metals remained red-hot on hopes of a revival in
U.S. manufacturing and infrastructure spending under Trump.
London zinc hit an 8-year high and copper jumped
for a fourth day in a row to put $6,000 a tonne within reach.
"Strong durable goods orders in the U.S. helped buoy
investors who have viewed Trump's upcoming presidency as a
positive for industrial metals demand," said ANZ in a report.
For Reuters new Live Markets blog on European and UK stock
markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.biz/cms/?pageId=livemarkets
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne, Balazs
Koranyi in Frankfurt)