Dollar firms as U.S. yields tick up ahead of Fed guidance

LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar firmed on Wednesday with 10-year Treasury yields close to 13-month highs ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting which could shed some light on the timing of future rate hikes and the central bank’s tolerance for rising yields.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. One dollar banknotes are seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken, February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

With Fed policymakers expected to forecast the fastest U.S. economic growth in decades in the wake of COVID-19 vaccinations and $1.9 trillion in new stimulus, market participants will be focused on clues that the central bank could start raising rates in 2023, earlier than it had said.

In any event, expectations of a faster-than-expected economic recovery will likely weigh.

“U.S. yields might receive further upwards thrust and pull the dollar along with them in the absence of a clear commitment on the part of the Fed that a further rise in yields is undesirable”, Commerzbank Antje Praefcke analyst wrote in a morning note.

She added that because the European Central Bank had in contrast committed to increase the pace of bond buying to keep a lid on rising yields, the euro might suffer against the dollar in the short term.

The euro was down 0.07% at $1.1893 after declining in the past three sessions.

Hurt by a possible delay in the European Union’s vaccination effort, the euro seemed set to test last week’s 3 1/2-month low of $1.18355.

Europe’s medicines watchdog will release results of its investigation into incidents of bleeding, blood clots and low platelet counts in recipients of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine on Thursday afternoon.

Europe’s painful recovery from the pandemic is in sharp contrast with other economies which seem less dependant on monetary stimulus to pull though.

The Bank of Canada for instance is likely to reduce its bond purchases as soon as next month, strategists say.

In morning trades in Europe, the dollar index ticked up 0.09% and stood at 91.953, having already risen for three straight sessions on support mainly from elevated U.S. bond yields.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were also ticking up at 1.6340%. They had reached 1.6420% on Friday for the first time since February 2020.

Against the yen, the greenback firmed 0.15% to 109.14 yen, hovering near nine-month highs hit this week.

The British pound was up 0.14% at $1.3914 recovering from profit-taking after it hit a near three-year high last month on the back of a fast vaccine rollout.

Commodity-linked currencies including the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar and the Canadian dollar eased slightly against the U.S. dollar, tracking weakness in commodity prices. [MET/L] [O/R]

In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin fell 2.1% to $55,708.79, slipping further away from a record high of $61,781.83 hit on Saturday.

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Currency bid prices at 843 GMT

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

Euro/Dollar $1.1894 $1.1903 -0.08% -2.66% +1.1908 +1.1887

Dollar/Yen 109.1250 109.0200 +0.12% +5.67% +109.2000 +109.0950

Euro/Yen 129.80 129.75 +0.04% +2.25% +129.9300 +129.7200

Dollar/Swiss 0.9279 0.9248 +0.34% +4.89% +0.9280 +0.9248

Sterling/Dollar 1.3914 1.3895 +0.14% +1.85% +1.3929 +1.3880

Dollar/Canadian 1.2461 1.2448 +0.10% -2.14% +1.2462 +1.2434

Aussie/Dollar 0.7729 0.7746 -0.19% +0.49% +0.7747 +0.7724

NZ Dollar/Dollar 0.7182 0.7190 -0.11% +0.01% +0.7194 +0.7174

All spots

Tokyo spots

Europe spots

Volatilities

Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ

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