Dollar Inches Higher vs. Currencies
The dollar inched higher versus a basket of currencies on Monday, with the near-term focus on the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July policy meeting due later this week. Moves in the greenback were subdued overall, with the dollar index edging up 0.1% to 81.352 and staying above a seven-week low of 80.868 set earlier in August. The greenback struggled to gain traction even as the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield set a fresh two-year high of about 2.871% on Monday, having exceeded Friday’s peak of 2.866%. U.S. Treasury yields have been rising recently on the back of market expectations that the Fed could start scaling back its bond-buying programme as early as September. Such expectations have been bolstered in recent sessions by some encouraging U.S. data, including a drop in weekly jobless claims to a near six-year low. Still, while higher U.S. yields can increase the attractiveness of dollar-denominated assets and give a boost to the dollar, the impact has been offset recently by an improvement in Eurozone and UK economic indicators, which have given a lift to the euro and sterling and kept a lid on the greenback. A focal point for markets this week is the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July 30-31 policy meeting, due to be released on Wednesday. July’s FOMC meeting minutes will be closely read to see whether officials were concerned about the summer rise in U.S. market interest rates holding back the recovery. If the minutes still point to the FOMC committee continuing to consider slowing down bond buying, the dollar will benefit.
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