Even the first U.S. manufacturing contraction since 2016 can’t keep the dollar down amid spiraling U.S.-China trade relations and dim European economic prospects.

That’s the view of analysts at firms including Societe Generale and TD Securities who expect the dollar to power past Tuesday’s surprisingly weak manufacturing release.

While the print shows that the U.S. isn’t immune to global trade weakness, economic data will need to slow more dramatically before traders ditch the greenback, according to SocGen’s Kit Juckes, given that U.S. yields are still higher relative to the rest of developed markets.

“It’s like trying to start your car on ice or in mud,” said Juckes, chief global FX strategist. “You’re going to have to run this engine for a bit before you get any traction on a weaker dollar.”

The Bloomberg dollar index surged to its strongest level since May 2017 Tuesday, following two months of gains amid weakness in the euro and yuan. The gauge remained close to that level, despite a 0.2% tumble.

Unwinding Hedges

Washington’s refusal to delay tariffs on China over the weekend is helping fuel the dollar’s rally as traders unwind risk-on hedges, according to Jordan Rochester, a currency strategist at Nomura International Plc. The onshore Chinese yuan tumbled in August, suffering its biggest monthly loss since January 1994, when the modern exchange-rate regime was adopted.

“There were folks who had to hedge for the slight possibility that U.S.-China found a way to de-escalate trade tensions before the latest round of tariffs came in this weekend,” Rochester said, adding that bullish offshore yuan and Australian dollar positions and short yen bets were likely the preferred methods. “Those short-term risk-on hedges were taken off yesterday. As a result, dollar headed higher.”

In the near-term, Rochester remains bullish on the dollar. Factors that could see the greenback weaken would include fiscal stimulus from China, the Federal Reserve embarking on a new round of quantitative easing, or geopolitical events in Europe calming down, but that’s “all unlikely for the time being,” he said.

European Easing Expected

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