February 27, 2019 / 11:03 AM / in 3 months

FOREX-Dollar drifts higher from three-week low, but confined to ranges

    * Powell repeats testimony before U.S. House
    * U.S. economic data mixed, dollar impact muted
    * U.S' Lighthizer says U.S-China trade issues 'too serious' 
    * Sterling scales $1.33 on Brexit delay bets
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

 (Recasts, adds new comment, U.S. Trade Representative's
remarks, FX table, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The dollar rose from a
three-week low on Wednesday but traded within narrow ranges as
investors showed no inclination to make big bets a day after
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized patience on
raising U.S. interest rates.
    The greenback's outlook, however, remained negative as money
markets have ruled out any more rate hikes for the remainder of
the year with an 80-percent probability of a rate cut by early
    Powell was on the second day of his two-day appearance in
the U.S. Congress. He repeated the testimony delivered to a
Senate panel on Tuesday, in which he said the Fed will remain
"patient" in deciding on further interest rate hikes.
    "The tone of the Fed doesn't give much impetus for the
dollar to outperform. Overall, the dollar has been mostly
rangebound," said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist, at TD
Securities in New York.
    The dollar, however, benefited modestly from some safe-haven
bids after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said U.S.
issues with China are "too serious" to be resolved. He added
that promises from Beijing to purchase more U.S. goods and any
deal between the two countries must include a way to ensure
commitments are met.
    Lighthizer made the remarks in a Congressional hearing on
    In late morning trading, the dollar index, a measure of the
U.S. currency's value, was up 0.1 percent at 96.058,
after earlier falling to a three-week low.
    The euro was little changed against the dollar at $1.1388
, while the dollar rose 0.2 percent versus the yen to
    U.S. economic data were mixed overall on Wednesday, backing
expectations that the Fed will be on hold throughout the year.
    The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc earlier gained after
Pakistan shot down two Indian jets, sending investors out of
riskier markets and into safer assets.
    The Japanese and Swiss currencies both tend to appreciate
during bouts of political and economic uncertainty. Pakistan
said it downed the planes a day after Indian warplanes struck
inside its territory for the first time since a war in 1971.

    Elsewhere, investors watched sterling closely as it rose
above $1.33 for the first time in five months. 
    The pound rallied on Tuesday after British Prime Minister
Theresa May offered lawmakers the chance to vote on delaying
Brexit, raising the chance of avoiding a chaotic no-deal
departure from the European Union.
    Currency bid prices at 10:41AM (1541 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1387        $1.1385     +0.02%         -0.72%      +1.1404     +1.1370
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        110.8300       110.5700    +0.24%         +0.52%      +110.8700   +110.3600
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     126.22         125.93      +0.23%         +0.00%      +126.2400   +125.5400
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9988         0.9996      -0.08%         +1.77%      +1.0012     +0.9963
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3321         1.3250      +0.54%         +4.42%      +1.3336     +1.3234
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3142         1.3166      -0.18%         -3.63%      +1.3177     +1.3118
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7137         0.7186      -0.68%         +1.25%      +0.7198     +0.7128
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1374         1.1385      -0.10%         +1.07%      +1.1393     +1.1353
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8547         0.8593      -0.54%         -4.86%      +0.8596     +0.8540
 NZ               NZD=        0.6843         0.6886      -0.62%         +1.88%      +0.6901     +0.6837
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.5252         8.5601      -0.41%         -1.31%      +8.5700     +8.5218
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.7092         9.7508      -0.43%         -1.99%      +9.7649     +9.7036
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.2510         9.2813      -0.35%         +3.20%      +9.2969     +9.2479
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.5353        10.5720     -0.35%         +2.64%      +10.5780    +10.5320
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by
Tom Finn in London
Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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