Dollar hovers near two-week lows on falling yields, Wall Street losses

Dollar hovers near two-week lows on falling yields, Wall Street losses

NEW YORK,. The US dollar traded near its lowest level in nearly two weeks against its major peers today as declining US treasury yields and further losses on Wall Street soured sentiment.

The dollar index, a gauge of its value against six major currencies, traded at 95.07 today, down from its monthly high of 96.16 hit on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 25,052, down 2.13 per cent, at a two month low yesterday while the S&P 500 ended 2.05 per cent lower. The Dow has lost around 7 per cent from the all-time high of 26,951 hit on October 3.

A weaker than forecast rise in US consumer prices undermined the dollar as traders cut back their wagers on the US Federal Reserve stepping up the pace of its planned rate rises.

Fed officials said last month they expected three rate hikes in 2019, and some have said they are open to a rate increase in December, which would be the fourth this year.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell to 3.1724 per cent today after hitting a seven-year peak of 3.261 per cent on Tuesday.

The euro was the primary beneficiary of broad-based dollar weakness today, hitting a fresh weekly high at 1.6003 on the back of dollar selling and a positive tone in minutes of the last European Central Bank (ECB) meeting.

The minutes suggested the ECB was on track to normalise its ultra-loose monetary policy this year despite concerns about slowing growth in Europe.

“We’ve heard quite a bit of comment from eurozone policymakers recently about rising inflation including from (ECB) President Draghi and the message is consistent, which is that price pressures are growing,” said Kathy Lien, Managing Director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management.

“Part of this is due to the higher oil prices but the weaker euro also boosts inflation,” she added, noting there could be more dollar/euro short covering with multiple moving average resistance points between 1.1.1580-1.1630.

The Japanese yen, which is a preferred currency in times of market turbulence, traded at 112.28 today.

Singapore’s central bank tightened monetary policy for the second time this year today. The Singapore dollar changed hands at 1.3744.

The Australian dollar was at US$0.7122 (RM2.96) today, recovering from a two-year low of US$0.7039 hit on Monday.

Gold traded at US$1,221 today, down 0.17 per cent. It staged a 2 per cent rally yesterday in the face of dollar weakness and global financial uncertainty. ­— Reuters