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FOREX-Dollar dips as Treasuries pare losses, before Fed minutes
July 9, 2014 / 2:50 PM / 3 years ago

FOREX-Dollar dips as Treasuries pare losses, before Fed minutes

* Dollar reverses earlier strength, falls against euro

* Fed meeting minutes in focus, inflation views key

* ECB President Draghi to speak (Adds comments, updates prices)

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK, July 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar fell against the euro on Wednesday as investors awaited the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s June meeting for any indications of how soon the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates.

The dollar has struggled to break above relatively tight ranges against the euro and the Japanese yen as investors look for stronger signals that the economy is gaining enough momentum for the Fed to begin increasing interest rates.

The greenback has largely tracked Treasuries moves this week, gaining slightly as U.S. bond yields fall. The dollar retraced mild gains made earlier on Wednesday as U.S. Treasuries also pared some of their weakness.

“Some of the earlier strength was probably due to the slight move higher in U.S. Treasury yields,” said Eric Viloria, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

The dollar was last down 0.19 percent against the euro at $1.3636. It gained 0.13 percent against the yen to 101.70 yen.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a broad basket of currencies, fell 0.15 percent to 80.059.

With no major economic data releases this week, the minutes from the Fed’s meeting will take center stage.

Any discussion by Fed members about a recent uptick in U.S. consumer prices will be a key focus for investors perusing the minutes, after Fed Chair Janet Yellen downplayed inflation data following the June meeting as being “noisy.”

“The characterization by Fed Chair Yellen of the inflation pop up as noise really took the wind out of the sails of the near-term hawks,” said Steven Englander, global head of G10 foreign exchange strategy at CitiFX in New York.

Most investors expect Wednesday’s minutes to be in line with Yellen’s comments in June, with some anticipating a more hawkish tone. That leaves the larger risk of the minutes being more dovish than expected, which would likely send the dollar and U.S. bond yields lower, said Englander.

The dollar has been largely stuck in a range as the Fed is seen as offering few surprises in the near term. Other central banks, including the European Central Bank, are also seen as being on a set course in the near term.

The Fed is seen as unlikely to signal a stronger chance of a rate hike until it has several more months of data. The ECB is unlikely to change policy before its targeted longer-term refinancing operations, meant to help stimulate growth in the region, are entered into later this year.

“Policy has been somewhat steady on both sides,” said Wells Fargo Securities’ Viloria. “The loans should expand the ECB’s balance sheet as they provide more liquidity and that should be a euro negative.”

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is due to speak later on Wednesday. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis)

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