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Dollar Up, Boosted by Fed’s Hint of Interest Rate Hike

ForexJan 26, 2022 10:59PM ET
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© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – The dollar was up on Thursday morning in Asia, hitting multi-week highs. The safe-haven U.S. currency got a boost after U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell hinted at imminent interest hikes.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was up 0.25% to 96.645 by 10:49 PM ET (3:49 AM GMT).

The USD/JPY pair inched up 0.04% to 114.68.

The AUD/USD pair fell 0.51% to 0.7078 and the NZD/USD pair fell 0.65% to 0.6608. Data released earlier in the day showed that New Zealand’s consumer price index grew 1.4% quarter-on-quarter and 5.9% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The USD/CNY pair gained 0.40% to 6.3462, while the GBP/USD pair edged down 0.18% to 1.3437.

The Fed left its interest rate unchanged at 0.25% as it handed down its latest policy decision on Wednesday. However, Powell signaled a sustained battle to curb high inflation, saying there was "quite a bit of room to raise interest rates without threatening the labor market" and that the Fed would likely begin hiking interest rates in March 2022.

The dollar gained 0.7% against the safe-haven yen after Powell's remarks, its steepest daily jump in more than two months. The prospect of imminent interest rate hikes unnerved stock markets and saw bond yields climb.

"While communication from Fed members in the lead-up to this meeting meant that the pivot should not have been a surprise, risk appetite shriveled as Powell's press conference progressed and the extent of the Fed's commitment to act in the face of significant inflation pressure became clear," ANZ analysts said in a note.

In other data from Asia Pacific, Chinese industrial profit growth slowed to 4.2% year-on-year in December 2021. Investors now await U.S. data, including GDP and core durable goods orders, due later in the day.

Meanwhile, the pound tested support as the following week’s Bank of England policy decision looms and the political turmoil over U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s breaking of COVID-19 lockdown rules.

Cryptocurrencies mostly held their ground after the Fed policy decision after taking a tumble during the previous week. However, bitcoin saw some pressure early in the Asia session, last trading nearly 2% down at $36,100.

Dollar Up, Boosted by Fed’s Hint of Interest Rate Hike
 

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Comments (2)
Fong SH
Fong SH Jan 27, 2022 2:23AM ET
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Headlines says Dollar Up ? lol I am blessed I switched from USD deposits to China RMB in year 2020 Rate was around USD1 = RMB7.25 Now - USD1 = RMB6.35 Thank you FED
chrisP bacon
chrisP bacon Jan 26, 2022 11:47PM ET
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Whole lotta nothing.  Didn't even raise rates, what a joke.  Inflation is the only thing that will force them to do anything and by then it will be too late. Keep in mind the gov't benefits greatly with inflation.  Taxes go up based on higher spending, your 'house' is worth more so higher property taxes.  How can the market knock off 15% from highs based on a non existent maybe in the future tiny rate increase.  Be fearful if it hits 2%, would be doomsday for the interest gov't's have to pay
 
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