Dollar slips to four-month low as Fed holds rates, nixes hike hopes
By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar fell on Wednesday to a four-month low against a basket of currencies after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said a significant, persistent inflation rise would be needed to hike rates.
By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar fell on Wednesday to a four-month low against a basket of currencies after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said a significant, persistent inflation rise would be needed to hike rates.
The Fed left the benchmark overnight lending rate in its 1.50% to 1.75% target range, and the U.S. central bank's rate-setting committee said after its two-day policy meeting that it expects moderate economic growth and low unemployment through next year's presidential election.
"A Fed determined to maintain an accommodative financial environment seems to finally be playing against the greenback," said Juan Perez, senior currency trader with Tempus, Inc. in Washington.
Rate increases are less needed than in the mid- 1990's rate-cut cycle, Powell told a news conference.
"The bar to a rate hike remains higher than the bar to lowering rates further, but overall you are looking at a Fed that is fairly confident about where the economy is headed and expects inflation to remain under pressure for a prolonged period of time," said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.
The dollar index <.DXY>, which measures the greenback against six other major currencies, was 0.33% lower at 97.095, its lowest since Aug. 9.
"Market participants are going to keep an eye out for the European Central Bank meeting tomorrow, but mostly will remain focused on what happens on Saturday with respect to U.S.-China trade negotiations," Schamotta said.
U.S. President Donald Trump has set Dec. 15 as the date to impose tariffs on nearly $160 billion in Chinese consumer goods. Washington is laying the groundwork to delay tariffs, a person briefed on the situation told Reuters, although there is no clarity on what the decision will be.
"If we do see a delay in tariffs, that clears the way for other currencies to rise relative to the dollar," Schamotta said.
The euro was 0.4% higher ahead of new ECB boss Christine Lagarde's first policy meeting on Thursday. Investors will scrutinize her every word.
Elsewhere, Sweden's crown jumped to a more than four-month high against the dollar after strong inflation data made it highly likely the country would end negative interest rates. The dollar was 1.16% lower against the Swedish crown.
In another notable move, the Hong Kong dollar rallied to its strongest level since July 24, which analysts attributed to the unwinding of bets previously profiting from "carry trades" - borrowing with low interest rates in Hong Kong to purchase U.S. dollar-denominated assets.
The greenback was 0.24% lower against the Hong Kong dollar.
The pound was 0.37% higher in thin trading on the eve of Britain's general election, shrugging off a poll that showed the ruling Conservative Party might fail to win a majority.
(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Nick Zieminski, Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Cristina Sanchez and Belén Carreño MADRID (Reuters) - Schools in Madrid remained shut, some supermarkets ran out of fresh produce and few cars were on the streets on Monday as officials urged people to stay home after a huge snow storm hit the Spanish capital and several regions over the weekend. However, most flights and trains, including the high-speed link to Barcelona, have resumed operations. While many people enjoyed the rare snowfall by skiing in the centre of Madrid and holding mass snowball fights, a further cold spell was set to turn the snow into ice this week and authorities rushed to clear more streets.
By Ludwig Burger FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc's partner BioNTech SE has boosted the 2021 delivery target for their COVID-19 vaccine to 2 billion doses, up from 1.3 billion previously, as they add new production lines and as more doses can be extracted per vial. Special syringes known as low dead space syringes allow for extraction of six vaccine doses from a standard vial, instead of the usual five, avoiding wasting unused liquid left in a syringe. That would result in 1 billion people getting the designated two-dose regimen, BioNTech said on Monday in a presentation for the annual JP Morgan healthcare conference being held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization said on Monday it had been notified by Japan of a new variant of the coronavirus discovered there. Japan's health ministry said on Sunday it had detected a new coronavirus variant in four travellers from Brazil's Amazonas state.