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Dollar dips against euro, gains on yen as Fed policy stays in focus

Published 11/09/2023, 08:28 PM
Updated 11/10/2023, 03:41 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Four thousand U.S. dollars are counted out by a banker counting currency at a bank in Westminster, Colorado November 3, 2009.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo
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By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar dipped against the euro on Friday but gained against the yen as investors evaluated comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell that the central bank could hike rates again if inflation remains above its target.

The Japanese currency also remained on watch for possible intervention as it holds near a one-year low against the greenback.

Powell and other Fed officials said on Thursday that they are still not sure that interest rates are high enough to finish the battle with inflation, with Powell saying that the Fed may get further help in taming price increases from improvements in the supply of goods, services and labor.

Markets are looking for “the ray of sunshine” that the Fed is done hiking rates, even though Powell since Jackson Hole has been clear that it will depend on data as it comes in, said Lou Brien, market strategist at DRW Trading in Chicago.

“Yesterday was another one of those occasions where Powell reminded that we have to take care of inflation, we don’t know that we’ve done enough yet - we will know as the data unfolds but we might have to do more if the data doesn’t unfold as we anticipate,” he said.

Consumer price inflation and retail sales data due next week are expected to offer the next clues on whether further rate increases are likely.

The dollar briefly gained on Friday after a survey showed that U.S. consumer sentiment fell for a fourth straight month in November, and households' expectations for inflation rose again, with their medium-term outlook for price pressures shooting to the highest in more than a dozen years.

The dollar index was last down 0.06% on the day at 105.85.

The dollar tumbled last week after Powell was interpreted as striking a dovish tone after the Fed’s two-day meeting, with softer-then-expected jobs data on Friday adding to a belief that the Fed has finished hiking interest rates.

Fed funds futures traders are pricing in a 22% chance of an additional hike by January, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

Some analysts, however, see the market as too complacent about the risk that the Fed is not yet done.

"Markets continue to underestimate the persistence of inflation globally and that in turn leads them to underestimate the likelihood of further monetary tightening. Right now, market pricing is leaning heavily to rate cuts by mid-2024 and we suspect this will have to be rethought in the coming weeks," Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman said in a note on Friday.

Fed Bank of San Francisco President Mary Daly said on Friday she is not ready to say yet whether the central bank is done raising its interest rate target to get inflation back to 2%.

The dollar also spiked on Thursday in line with Treasury yields after the U.S. Treasury Department saw weak demand for a $24 billion 30-year bond auction.

It was not clear whether demand for the debt was impacted by a ransomware attack on the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's (ICBC) U.S. arm, which has disrupted some trades in the U.S. Treasury market.

The euro gained 0.10% to $1.0679.

European Central Bank interest rates kept at a record high for long enough could return inflation to the bank's 2% target, ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Friday.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar gained 0.16% to 151.59 yen, the highest since Nov. 1. Traders remained on alert for potential intervention in the Japanese currency, which is near a one-year low of 151.74 reached last week. The yen is on track for its worst week since August, with the dollar gaining 1.48% against the currency this week.

The euro also hit a 15-year high of 161.95 yen on Friday.

The Norwegian crown jumped after data showed Norway's inflation was stronger than expected in October, boosting market rate hike expectations.

The dollar was last down 0.94% at 11.13 crowns to the dollar.

The Australian dollar fell to $0.63395, the lowest since Nov. 1. It has tumbled since the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday raised interest rates to a 12-year high but played down the probability of further increases.

Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, was at $37,167, having peaked at $37,978 in the previous session, its highest level since May 2022.

Prices of the digital assets have surged after speculation of an imminent approval of BlackRock (NYSE:BLK)'s spot bitcoin ETF.

A spot crypto ETF would make the sector "more accessible for institutional investors to enter the crypto space, likely boosting demand and subsequently prices," said Carl Szantyr, managing partner of digital asset hedge fund Blockstone Capital.

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Currency bid prices at 3:01PM (2001 GMT)

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session

Dollar index 105.8500 105.9200 -0.06% 2.280% +106.0100 +105.7400

Euro/Dollar $1.0679 $1.0668 +0.10% -0.34% +$1.0693 +$1.0657

Dollar/Yen 151.5900 151.3500 +0.16% +15.62% +151.5950 +151.2300

Euro/Yen 161.88 161.44 +0.27% +15.38% +161.9400 +161.3600

Dollar/Swiss 0.9027 0.9031 -0.04% -2.38% +0.9046 +0.9003

Sterling/Dollar $1.2216 $1.2221 -0.03% +1.02% +$1.2237 +$1.2187

Dollar/Canadian 1.3810 1.3806 +0.03% +1.93% +1.3855 +1.3792

Aussie/Dollar $0.6356 $0.6366 -0.16% -6.76% +$0.6369 +$0.6340

Euro/Swiss 0.9637 0.9632 +0.05% -2.61% +0.9643 +0.9620

Euro/Sterling 0.8739 0.8725 +0.16% -1.19% +0.8755 +0.8718

NZ $0.5888 $0.5894 -0.10% -7.27% +$0.5904 +$0.5879

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway 11.1270 11.2310 -0.94% +13.36% +11.2190 +11.1150

Euro/Norway 11.8845 11.9629 -0.66% +13.25% +11.9774 +11.8629

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Four thousand U.S. dollars are counted out by a banker counting currency at a bank in Westminster, Colorado November 3, 2009.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Dollar/Sweden 10.9150 10.9234 +0.04% +4.87% +10.9439 +10.8795

Euro/Sweden 11.6557 11.6506 +0.04% +4.54% +11.6675 +11.6256

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