Dollar at three-year low vs euro; stocks extend record run

The dollar index was down 1.23 per cent for the year, its worst performance over the first nine trading days since 2010, according to Reuters data. — Reuters pic
The dollar index was down 1.23 per cent for the year, its worst performance over the first nine trading days since 2010, according to Reuters data. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Jan 13 ― The US dollar slumped to a more than three-year low against the euro yesterday, extending recent losses on expectations European Central Bank policymakers are preparing to reduce their stimulus, while a key global stock index was on track for an eighth week of gains.

US stocks rose with bank shares, which climbed following quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo.

The euro's rise weighed on the dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies. The index was down 0.94 per cent, after slipping to a four-month low of 90.954.

The dollar index was down 1.23 per cent for the year, its worst performance over the first nine trading days since 2010, according to Reuters data. “The latest ECB comments were a bit on the hawkish side, so that's giving more life to the euro,” said Minh Trang, senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California.

Sterling rocketed to its highest level against the dollar since the vote to leave the European Union after a report that the Netherlands and Spain were open to a deal for Britain to remain as close as possible to the trading bloc. Sterling was last trading at US$1.373 (RM5,453), up 1.43 per cent.

US stock indexes hit all-time highs, along with the MSCI world index. Strong US December retail sales data also helped stocks.

The S&P financial index was up 0.6 per cent. While tax-related costs are expected to weigh on banks' earnings, they are expected to benefit in the long run from a lower tax burden.

“The fact all the big money center banks beat on the bottom line is a good omen for the rest of the earnings season,” said William Lynch, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates, in Hinsdale, Illinois.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 185.41 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 25,760.14, the S&P 500 gained 15.39 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 2,782.95 and the Nasdaq Composite added 40.17 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 7,251.95.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.23 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.72 per cent.

A robust US inflation report boosted Treasury yields.

The two-year yield, sensitive to traders' views on interest rates, rose to more than 2 per cent for the first time since the financial crisis.

In commodities, oil prices rose for a sixth day after Russia's oil minister said that global crude supplies were “not balanced yet,” alleviating market concerns about a wind-down of the OPEC-led deal to reduce production.

US crude oil rose 50 cents to settle at US$64.30 a barrel, while Brent rose 61 cents to settle at US$69.87. ― Reuters

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