By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – The dollar edged higher in early European trading Wednesday, but remained near two-week lows after bond yields fell sharply despite further signs of strong U.S. economic growth.
At 2:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was up 0.1% at 92.390, just above a two-week low of 92.246, slipping further from a five-month high of 93.439 set at the end of last month.
The previous quarter saw the dollar’s strongest rally in years on rising expectations that accelerating U.S. economic growth and inflation could force the Fed to abandon its pledge to keep interest rates near zero until 2024.
However, these expectations have been reined in at the start of the new quarter, with EUR/USD rallying to a two-week high of 1.1878, and the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield dropping sharply to 1.65%.
Yet many investors still question whether the Fed can stick to its dovish stance, particularly given the recent employment data. Friday’s payrolls report was much stronger than expected while Tuesday’s data showed the job market is creating more opportunities at a faster clip than many economists and employers forecast.
“The labor market is probably running hotter than you think and global key figures are now in tightening territory,” said analysts at Nordea, in a note. “Perhaps the Fed’s dual mandate will be fulfilled already by early 2022?”
The market will get a little more insight into what Fed policy makers were thinking about inflation and the current state of the bond-buying program when the minutes of last month’s Open Market Committee meeting are released. later Wednesday.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday moved up the Covid-19 vaccine eligibility target for all American adults to April 19, two weeks earlier than the May 1 deadline he announced previously.
Elsewhere, USD/INR soared 0.8% to 74.065, with the Indian rupee falling to the lowest level since November low after the country’s central bank kept its benchmark repurchase rate at a record low of 4% but cut its cash reverse ratio and also signaled readiness to act to support growth. The RBI said it will keep its accommodative stance for as long as necessary.
In Europe, Poland’s central bank is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate at 0.1% for an 11th straight month later Wednesday, with worries about the economic damage from tighter Covid-19 restrictions set to outweigh rising inflation and a weaker national currency.
USD/PLN rose 0.1% to 3.8716, while EUR/PLN climbed 0.1% to 4.5959. The zloty hit a 10-year low against the euro last week under pressure from record Covid-19 infections – only three months after the central bank had intervened to stop it strengthening against the euro.
Dollar Edges Higher; Fed Minutes in Focus
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