FOREX-U.S. dollar losses bounce after Canada tips toward higher rates

David Henry
·5 min read

(Updates with impact of announcement by central bank of Canada) * Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E By David Henry NEW YORK, April 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. dollar rebound against major currencies was interrupted on Wednesday after Canada's central bank signaled an interest rate hike in 2022 and reduced the scope of its asset-buying program. The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against six major peers, turned down after the announcement from the Bank of Canada and was off by 0.1% at noon (1600 GMT) in New York after having been up as much as 0.24% for the day. The greenback lost about 1% against the Canadian dollar. Earlier the U.S. dollar had rebounded from a seven-week low hit overnight against major currencies as broad weakness in stock markets triggered by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in India and Japan encouraged a retreat to the safe-haven appeal of the greenback. The safety bid had also supported the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen as the bright outlook for a global recovery dimmed. But the catalyst for the move between the two North American dollars on Wednesday was a reminder that the outlook for changes in interest rates have been key to currencies as recoveries unfold. The greenback weakened through much of April as U.S. interest rates declined and as traders bet that vaccinations would open up a stronger global economic recovery and drive demand for riskier and higher-yielding currencies. The greenback's bounce had come with softer U.S. Treasury yields as investors reconsidered how long it might take before inflation forces the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy and as they saw prices for oil and stocks hit on Tuesday by the prospect of a slower global recovery because of more COVID-19 cases. The Fed's Open Market Committee meets next week and the European Central Bank decides policy on Thursday. Though neither is expected to signal a change in policy now, traders may hold back from big bets for a few days, said Joseph Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions. "I think the market is just going to play it carefully in case the Fed changes its tune," Manimbo said. At the moment, he sees the market acting as though it is at "somewhat of a crossroads for the dollar given that it has struggled this month." Some analysts have said that a new inclination by the Bank of Canada to tighten monetary policy could prove to foreshadow changes by other central banks. The Bank of Canada sharply raised its outlook for the economy and reduced the scope of its large-scale asset-buying program while keeping its key interest rate steady. It said the pandemic will be "less detrimental" to the economy than it had thought. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield climbed to 1.58% on the news from Canada and then hovered just above 1.57%, not far from the 1.60% level at the start of the week, as the note consolidated gains after a reversal that had driven yields to a 14-month high at 1.7760% last month. The biggest casualty of the dollar's rise in Wednesday trading was the euro, with the single currency weakening as much as 0.24%. It was last flat at $1.2029 after touching a seven-week high of $1.2079 overnight. The Japanese yen, often seen as a safer refuge than the dollar, gained against the greenback to 107.86 but then drifted back to 108.14 on Wednesday morning. India reported its highest daily toll of 1,761 deaths from COVID-19, while Canada and the United States extended a land-border closure for nonessential travelers. In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin traded around $56,000, consolidating after its dip to as low as $51,541.16 on Sunday. It set a record high at $64,895.22 on April 14. ======================================================== Currency bid prices at 12:24PM (1624 GMT) Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid Previous Change Session Dollar index 91.1460 91.2210 -0.07% 1.295% +91.4300 +91.0860 Euro/Dollar $1.2029 $1.2036 -0.06% -1.55% +$1.2044 +$1.1999 Dollar/Yen 108.1400 108.0950 +0.05% +4.67% +108.2800 +107.8800 Euro/Yen 130.06 130.08 -0.02% +2.47% +130.1400 +129.6500 Dollar/Swiss 0.9167 0.9159 +0.09% +3.62% +0.9195 +0.9154 Sterling/Dollar $1.3931 $1.3938 -0.03% +1.99% +$1.3949 +$1.3886 Dollar/Canadian 1.2493 1.2612 -0.94% -1.89% +1.2652 +1.2459 Aussie/Dollar $0.7752 $0.7725 +0.36% +0.78% +$0.7762 +$0.7699 Euro/Swiss 1.1026 1.1019 +0.06% +2.03% +1.1042 +1.1009 Euro/Sterling 0.8632 0.8631 +0.01% -3.41% +0.8644 +0.8614 NZ $0.7208 $0.7170 +0.56% +0.40% +$0.7218 +$0.7163 Dollar/Dollar Dollar/Norway 8.3410 8.3650 -0.34% -2.92% +8.3920 +8.3360 Euro/Norway 10.0340 10.0630 -0.29% -4.14% +10.0899 +10.0226 Dollar/Sweden 8.4136 8.4325 -0.28% +2.65% +8.4780 +8.4127 Euro/Sweden 10.1205 10.1490 -0.28% +0.44% +10.1751 +10.1212 (Reporting by David Henry in New York and Saikat Chatterjee in London; Editing by Will Dunham, Hugh Lawson and Jonathan Oatis)