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Dollar touches 2-week high, euro soft as traders bet on Q1 rate cuts.

Date: 07-12-2023
Subject: Dollar touches 2-week high, euro soft as traders bet on Q1 rate cuts
The U.S. dollar touched a two-week high on Wednesday, while the euro was weak across the board as markets ramped up bets that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates as early as March.

The euro was down 0.2% against the dollar at a three-week low of $1.0773, as markets adjust rate expectations lower following soft data and dovish central bank commentary.

The single currency also touched a three-month low against the pound, a five-week low versus the yen and a 6-1/2 week low against the Swiss franc.

"The story in currency markets is mostly about a softer euro," said Niels Christensen, chief analyst at Nordea.

"Yesterday's comments from ECB's Schnabel supported the market view of early rate cuts."

Influential policymaker Isabel Schnabel on Tuesday told Reuters that further interest rate hikes could be taken off the table given a "remarkable" fall in inflation.

The ECB will set interest rates on Thursday next week and is all but certain to leave them at the current record high of 4%. The Federal Reserve and Bank of England are also likely to hold rates steady next Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Fed officials are now in a blackout period ahead of the Dec. 12-13 meeting, where a key focus will be the updated projections of where they see rates in 2024.

Traders have priced around a 60% chance of the U.S. central bank cutting rates in March, according to CME's FedWatch tool. They have also priced in at least 125 basis points of cuts next year.

Investors have been reassessing the extent of U.S. rate cuts next year in the past few days, helping lift the dollar.

"Markets have gone a bit overboard with pricing in very aggressive path of rate cuts through next year," said Aninda Mitra, head of Asia macro and investment strategy at BNY Mellon Investment Management.

Mitra said there could be a snapback should the Fed drive home the message more forcefully that it is not about to cut rates anytime soon.

Source Name : Economic Times

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