Dollar Inches Down but “Regains Mojo” as Fed Deflects Early Interest Hike Hopes

Dollar Inches Down but “Regains Mojo” as Fed Deflects Early Interest Hike Hopes

Dollar Inches Down but “Regains Mojo” as Fed Deflects Early Interest Hike Hopes © Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – The dollar inched down on Friday morning in Asia but was boosted by rising Treasury yields and a fall in global shares. Investors also continue to contemplate the U.S. Federal Reserve’s deflection of early interest-rate hike expectations.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.01 at 91.862 by 11:59 AM ET (3:59 AM GMT).

The USD/JPY pair inched up 0.01% to 108.89.

The AUD/USD pair edged down 0.18% to 0.7742 and the NZD/USD pair inched up 0.01% to 0.7166.

The USD/CNY pair edged up 0.13% to 6.5136 and the GBP/USD pair inched down 0.03% to 1.3916.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year yield climbed to a more than one-year peak of 1.754% during the previous session before dropping to 1.715%. The Fed handed down its policy decision on Wednesday and pledged to carry on with aggressive monetary stimulus.

“After some navel-gazing,” bond investors “concluded that the Fed is not [posing] any challenges or discomfort for longer-dated UST yields to keep pushing higher,” National Australia Bank (OTC:NABZY) senior FX strategist Rodrigo Catril said in a note.

“The USD regained its mojo,” the note added.

Rounding up a week of central bank policy decisions, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) handed down its own decision earlier in the day. BOJ also announced the results of a comprehensive policy review and was expected to slightly widen the implicit band in which it allows long-term interest rates to move around its 0% target.

The Bank of England (BOE) handed down its decision the day before. It also warned that the outlook for U.K.’s recovery from COVID-19 remained unclear, which disappointed expectations that BOE would signal a more confident outlook.

Elsewhere in Europe, several countries, including Germany and France, plan to resume usage of the AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) PLC/University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. The European Medicines Agency (EMA)’s endorsement of the vaccine on Thursday to calm jitters over potential side effects is set to give the continent's COVID-19 vaccination rollout a boost.

However, a third wave of COVID-19 cases in France saw Paris and other parts of the country enter a fresh lockdown, dampening investor sentiment. The euro slipped 0.1%, extending Thursday’s 0.5% drop.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin weakened to around $56,703 as the Asian trading session got underway, after briefly surpassing the $60,000 mark during the previous session. It had climbed to a fresh record high of $61,781.83 during the previous week, after more than doubling since the start of 2021.

“Bitcoin is a momentum trade, and it feels like it could go a lot further… is it a bubble? Yes. But it can easily go to $100,000 before it comes crashing down,” OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya told Reuters.

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