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The Dollar Ended The Week Under Pressure

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The Dollar Ended The Week Under Pressure

(CTN News) – Despite mixed data, the US Dollar (USD) traded modestly weaker against most major peers on Friday, and was on course for its worst weekly performance against the euro this year.

According to Friday’s closely watched employment report from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payrolls increased by 275,000. It’s now 229,000 jobs instead of 353,000 as previously reported for January.

A three-month streak of 3.7% unemployment ended in February with a rate of 3.9%.

According to Stuart Cole, chief economist at Equiti Capital, “the market had been worried the Fed wasn’t going to cut rates anytime soon.”

“Today’s report provides some optimism that, even if loosening isn’t as big as expected at the start of the year, things are still heading in the right direction to allow the Fed to cut,” he said.

Cole said that at least in the short term, the dollar will be softer.
EUR/USD was down 0.06% at $1.09425. It was up nearly 1% for the week, its best weekly performance against the dollar since the week ended Dec. 22.

ECB kept rates at record highs of 4.00% on Thursday, saying it had made good progress in bringing inflation down, but would cut them later this year.

As the dollar came under pressure this week after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sounded more confident about cutting rates, the euro got a lift.

According to Powell, the Fed’s confidence to cut rates isn’t far away. Central banks usually lower interest rates if they want to weaken currencies.

“(Friday’s data) really kind of cements what Chair Powell said this week about rate cuts starting this year,” Lindsey Bell, chief strategist at 248 Ventures, said.

Yen rises against dollar after Bank of Japan report

There’s a lot of talk in Japan about raising interest rates and implementing quantitative monetary policy.

The Jiji news agency reported the BoJ is considering a framework to show how much it’s going to buy government bonds.

On top of that, four sources familiar with BoJ thinking said a growing number of policymakers may support ending negative interest rates this month.

At 147.05 yen, the dollar was down 0.68% from its Feb. 2 high.

XTB’s Kathleen Brooks, research director, said the yen’s rising as speculation mounts that the BoJ will hike interest rates later this month.

USD/JPY is building a powerful downward trend, and we think it could test 145.00 in the short term,” she said.

Against a weaker euro and dollar, it rose on Friday after signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve is closer to cutting rates than the Bank of England. In late July, the pound hit its highest since late July, up 0.34% to $1.2854.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars also benefited from hopes that interest rates will start to fall in June. There was a 0.09% rise in the Aussie, but a 0.05% rise in the Kiwi.

Cryptocurrencies are up 2.77% after hitting a record high of $70,175.


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