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Dollar jumps on Powell renomination, euro hurt by COVID-19 lockdowns

EconomyNov 22, 2021 03:25PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rolled Euro banknotes are placed on U.S. Dollar banknotes in this illustration taken May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar set a 16-month high against the euro on Monday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was nominated for a second four-year term by President Joe Biden, while the single currency was hurt by COVID-19 related lockdowns.

Lael Brainard, the Federal Reserve board member who was the other top candidate for the job, will be vice chair, the White House said.

"With Powell being renominated for a second term, that suggests a less dovish outlook for monetary policy than under a potential Brainard leadership," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analysts at Western Union (NYSE:WU) Business Solutions in Washington.

"It looks like there's greater scope for U.S. rate hikes under Powell with Powell remaining on as the Fed Chair, and that has been broadly positive for the dollar," Manimbo added.

The dollar index against a basket of currencies rose 0.42% on the day to 96.53, the highest since July 2020. The euro dipped 0.58% to $1.1233, also the weakest since July 2020.

The single currency was also dragged lower as concerns grew over new COVID-19 restrictions in Europe, with Austria entering another full lockdown and Germany considering following suit.

"It's kind of been a one-two punch for the euro. One has been a rise in cases across the bloc, and what that is doing is reinforcing the decidedly dovish outlook for (European Central Bank) policy and that stands in stark contrast to the Fed, where pressure is building for the U.S. central bank to adopt a quicker pace of normalization," Manimbo said.

Powell and Brainard on Monday noted the corrosive impact that high inflation is having on the U.S. economy and American families in what may be a signal that controlling the rapid pace of price increases is now the central bank's top priority.

The Fed will release minutes from its Nov. 2-3 meeting on Wednesday, which will be evaluated for any new indications that it may speed up the taper of its bond purchases and hike rates sooner than expected.

Fed officials Richard Clarida and Christopher Waller on Friday suggested a faster pace of stimulus tapering may be appropriate amid a quickening recovery and heated inflation.

The dollar also gained 0.79% against the safe haven Japanese yen to 114.93, approaching the 4-1/2 year high of 114.97 reached on Nov. 17.

The greenback also gained 0.55% to hit a seven-week high of C$1.27 against the Canadian dollar.

"Given the possibility that more virus lockdowns are announced in the coming days and weeks, risk-sensitive currencies like the CAD may trade on the defensive while declining oil prices exert an additional drag," analysts at Scotiabank said in a report on Friday.

Graphic: World FX rates https://graphics.reuters.com/GLOBAL-CURRENCIES-PERFORMANCE/0100301V041/index.html

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 96.5280 96.1380 +0.42% 7.276% +96.5510 +96.0350

Euro/Dollar $1.1233 $1.1300 -0.58% -8.05% +$1.1296 +$1.1231

Dollar/Yen 114.9300 114.0200 +0.79% +11.26% +114.9500 +114.0550

Euro/Yen 129.10 128.63 +0.37% +1.72% +129.3200 +128.5700

Dollar/Swiss 0.9331 0.9288 +0.47% +5.48% +0.9333 +0.9268

Sterling/Dollar $1.3386 $1.3443 -0.43% -2.02% +$1.3449 +$1.3385

Dollar/Canadian 1.2700 1.2632 +0.55% -0.26% +1.2701 +1.2630

Aussie/Dollar $0.7226 $0.7237 -0.17% -6.08% +$0.7273 +$0.7225

Euro/Swiss 1.0482 1.0474 +0.08% -3.01% +1.0485 +1.0449

Euro/Sterling 0.8391 0.8393 -0.02% -6.11% +0.8403 +0.8381

NZ $0.6953 $0.7000 -0.66% -3.17% +$0.7013 +$0.6954

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway 8.9285 8.9020 +0.26% +3.94% +8.9630 +8.8970

Euro/Norway 10.0315 10.0588 -0.27% -4.16% +10.0932 +10.0082

Dollar/Sweden 8.9895 8.9523 +0.05% +9.66% +9.0137 +8.9349

Euro/Sweden 10.0985 10.0935 +0.05% +0.22% +10.1392 +10.0865

Dollar jumps on Powell renomination, euro hurt by COVID-19 lockdowns
 

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Comments (4)
Kelan Lashmet
Kelan Lashmet Nov 22, 2021 9:04AM ET
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This virus has a high mutation rate and with large portions of global populations refusing to get vaccinated, the virus will continue to ******and push hospitals to the breaking point
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Nov 22, 2021 9:04AM ET
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No its not lol stop listening yo the media i work at many hospitals
Kelan Lashmet
Kelan Lashmet Nov 22, 2021 9:04AM ET
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I really don't understand your statement. What makes you think I don't have a Doctorate Degree and work in a research lab and my girlfriend works for the CDC. You might want to stop laughing and actually listen to the experts.
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Nov 22, 2021 7:45AM ET
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I thought the vaccine was going to save everyone?? Austria has very high percentage of vaccinated. It’s almost like the virus is being released somehow. EU is done- no one goes there for leisure travel anymore. No on go there for business travel. No one even talks about Europe. It’s all about Asia. Throw in rising covid- Same with the UK. Euro is going down.
Afolabi Ayo
Afolabi Ayo Nov 22, 2021 5:36AM ET
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dollar itself weak against EUR, AUD and GBP
Tim Lee
Tim Lee Nov 21, 2021 9:46PM ET
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Europe's problem
 
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