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Dollar Edges Higher; Yen Under Pressure, While Euro, Sterling Bounce

Dollar Edges Higher; Yen Under Pressure, While Euro, Sterling Bounce By

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Forex 2 hours ago (Sep 06, 2022 08:28)

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By Peter Nurse – The U.S. dollar retained a positive tone Tuesday, climbing to a fresh 24-year high against the rate-sensitive Japanese yen, while the euro bounced from its lowest level since 2002 ahead of this week’s European Central Bank meeting.

At 03:05 ET (07:05 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% higher at 109.580, after having climbed as high as 110.270 on Monday, the highest level in 20 years.

The dollar came off its recent highs on Monday, with the U.S. on holiday, but the currency remains in demand on expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue with its aggressive monetary tightening later this month, with solid labor market data giving the policymakers greater license to try and rein in inflation at 40-year highs.

Futures markets have priced in a more than 50% chance the Fed will hike by 75 basis points at its September policy meeting.

This dollar strength is best illustrated Tuesday against the Japanese yen, with U.S. monetary policy tightening seen widening the gap with Japan’s stubbornly low interest rates.

USD/JPY rose 0.5% to 141.33, with the pair climbing to its highest level since 1998.

“Offering 2.3% overnight deposit rates and backed by near energy independence and a relatively strong U.S. economy, it should not be a surprise to see the dollar remaining bid,” said analysts at ING, in a note. “We doubt the Japanese yen offers much of a safe haven at the moment given the nature of the crisis wiping out Japan’s trade surplus.”

Elsewhere, the dollar eased slightly from multi-year highs against the euro and sterling, although recession fears and an energy crisis mean both these currencies remain weak.

EUR/USD rose 0.4% to 0.9969, rebounding to a degree after falling on Monday below 0.99 for the first time since 2002, after Russia decided to halt indefinitely the supply of gas down its main pipeline to Europe.

The European Central Bank meets later this week, and is widely expected to raise interest rates given inflation is rapidly approaching double digits in the Eurozone.

That said, the central bank policymakers have a difficult balancing act to overcome. The weak euro could make already record-high inflation worse through more expensive imports, but growth in the region is already slowing and the threat of energy rationing in winter could throw the Eurozone into a deep recession.

German industrial orders fell for the sixth month in a row in July, falling 1.1% on the month and 13.6% on the year, as the war in Ukraine continues to take its toll on Europe’s largest economy.

GBP/USD rose 0.6% to 1.1585, bouncing after sliding to a 2-1/2-year low of 1.1444 on Monday with Liz Truss set to be confirmed as Britain’s new prime minister.

Sterling has benefited from reports that Truss has drafted plans to avert an energy crisis, promising tax cuts and financial support for beleaguered homeowners.

Elsewhere, AUD/USD traded largely unchanged at 0.6793 after Australia’s central bank raised its cash rate 50 basis points to 2.35% earlier Tuesday, as widely expected, and left the door open for more tightening ahead as it seeks to restrain surging inflation.

USD/CNY rose 0.1% to 6.9383, with the yuan trading around its weakest level in more than two years despite the People’s Bank of China saying on Monday that it will cut the amount of foreign exchange reserves needed to be held by financial institutions.

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