Dollar at three-week low as Fed’s dovish message sinks in

The dollar changed hands at 108.93, after hitting a three-week low of 108.755 yesterday. — Reuters pic
The dollar changed hands at 108.93, after hitting a three-week low of 108.755 yesterday. — Reuters pic

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TOKYO, April 15 — The dollar nursed losses today, holding near a three-week low against a basket of currencies as US bond yields pulled back from last month’s surge with investors buying the Federal Reserve’s arguments that interest rates can stay low.

The dollar index dipped to a four-week low of 91.571 overnight and last stood at 91.601.

The euro traded at US$1.19845, near its highest level in four weeks and having gained 2.2 per cent so far this month.

The dollar changed hands at 108.93, after hitting a three-week low of 108.755 yesterday.

“The dollar has been losing steam a bit in line with falls in US bond yields as the Fed has maintained it dovish stance,” said Yujiro Goto, chief currency strategist at Nomura Securities.

Repeated assurances from Fed officials that it will keep interest rates low have helped stabilise US bonds, especially at the short end of the market.

While many investors remain nervous the Fed could change its tone later this year if inflation readings swing much higher than expected, for now they are content to give the Fed the benefit of the doubt.

Ten-year US bond yields eased to 1.636 per cent, well below a 14-month peak of 1.776 per cent hit late March, reducing the dollar’s yield attraction.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said yesterday that the US central bank will reduce its monthly bond purchases before it commits to an interest rate increase, a scenario many investors have regarded as a given.

A weaker US dollar also saw commodity currencies supported. The Australian dollar stood at US$0.7724 near yesterday's three-week high, having broken out of its tight trading band over the last few weeks.

The New Zealand dollar likewise hit a three-week high of US$0.7150 and last quoted at US$0.7140.

“When economic data is strong and the Fed is not turning hawkish, we could see risk-sensitive currencies gaining against both the dollar and the yen,” said Nomura’s Goto.

Today is busy with US data, including retail sales data for March and weekly jobless data due at 1230GMT.

Bitcoin stood near a record high hit yesterday of US$64,895.22, last trading at US$63,000 as cryptocurrency platform Coinbase made its debut in Nasdaq in direct listing.

After a volatile trade, the stock closed at US$328.28, which gave the firm market capitalisation of US$65.39 billion, about the same as New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc — Reuters

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