FOREX-Dollar rises as Fed meets; emerging markets recover on rate hikes

Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:24pm EST

Related Topics

* Dollar rises further, holds above seven-week low vs yen
    * Indian rupee, Turkish lira rebound as sell-off pauses
    * Turkish central bank stems tide by calling emergency
meeting
    * Fed meeting may be next trigger for emerging markets
worries


    By Richard Leong
    NEW YORK, Jan 28 (Reuters) - The dollar rose modestly
against the yen and euro on Tuesday as investors stepped back
into stocks and emerging markets whose recent sell-off had
driven money into safe-haven currencies.
    The greenback might receive another boost if the Federal
Reserve were to further pare its bond-purchase stimulus despite
data suggesting the U.S. economy lost some momentum at the end
of 2013, analysts said.
    U.S. central bank officials began a two-day policy meeting
on Tuesday, at which analysts expect the Fed to decide to reduce
its monthly bond purchases in February by $10 billion to $65
billion. 
    Such a move is perceived as positive for the dollar since it
would reduce the amount of cash the Fed injects into the banking
system, although the Fed's tapering which began in December has
hurt emerging market currencies because the dollars created had
flooded into fast-growing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin
America. 
    "The Fed is squarely focused on the domestic economy. It
will continue to taper," said Russ Koesterich, global chief
investment strategist at BlackRock in San Francisco, which
manages $4.1 trillion.
    "The volatility in emerging markets is not over. It will be
with us for some time. There are still structural problems with
some of these markets," Koesterich added.
    Citing political instability, Standard & Poor's lowered its
outlook on Ukraine to negative from stable and slashed its
credit rating deeper into junk territory. 
    The central banks of some key emerging economies sought to
soothe investor concerns.
    The Indian rupee booked its biggest rise in more than
two months after the Reserve Bank of India surprised with an
interest rate hike on Tuesday. 
    Later Tuesday, Turkey's central bank is expected to raise
its lending rate to about 10 percent at an emergency meeting in
a bid to halt the slide of its currency. 
    The rupee improved 0.9 percent against the dollar at 62.56
rupees per dollar, while the Turkish lira gained about 1.3
percent to 2.25 to the dollar. 
    The recovery in emerging market currencies helped lift
global stock prices, with the MSCI world index 
gaining 0.4 percent, snapping a three-session run of heavy
losses. 
    The dollar in the meantime held steady against the euro and
recovered further against the yen in the wake of a much
weaker-than-expected reading on U.S. durable goods orders in
December.
    The dollar rose 0.3 percent against the yen at 102.84
yen after hitting a seven-week low last Friday. 
    The euro dipped 0.06 percent against the greenback at
$1.3661, retreating from an approximately 3-1/2-week high set
last Friday.
   
       
    The durable goods data were mitigated by a
stronger-than-expected January pickup in U.S. consumer
confidence and in-line growth in U.S. home prices in November.
 
    The surprise December drop in durable goods orders raised
some doubts over whether the Fed tapered its third round of
quantitative easing too soon.
    "They began tapering not because they saw the economy on a
firmer footing but rather because they were concerned with the
rapid rise in the Fed's balance sheet with little to show for it
in economic strength," said Douglas Borthwick, managing director
at Chapdelaine Foreign Exchange in New York.
    "The markets, especially emerging markets, are taking the
view that tapering is as good as ending or reversing QE,"
Borthwick said.
    As investors await the Fed's next move, they dipped their
toes back into stocks and commodity-linked currencies such as
the Australian dollar. 
    Worries over how the Australian economy will hold up in the
face of slackening commodity markets and a slowdown in China
were eased somewhat by the NAB measure of business conditions,
which jumped to its highest in more than 2-1/2 years.
 
    The Aussie dollar rose to $0.8770, up 0.35 percent
on the day after climbing as high as $0.8821 earlier in the
European session, pulling away from Friday's low of $0.8660, its
lowest level since July 2010.
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