Dollar edges up, euro falls before central bank meetings

Stefano Rebaudo, Reuters

Posted at Dec 13 2021 06:17 PM

The dollar edged higher on Monday as investors braced for a batch of central banks’ policy meetings this week, including the US Federal Reserve's.

Market participants were keen to learn how quickly the US central bank will unwind its bond-buying program and pick up signs of when it may start to raise rates in 2022.

The euro fell, as it is seen as vulnerable to a rate hike in the United States on expectations that the Federal Reserve will tighten policy more quickly than the dovish European Central Bank.

Friday’s US inflation data provided investors with no further indications about whether the Fed will need to be more aggressive to combat rising prices.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.2 percent at 96.28. The euro was down 0.3 percent at $1.1286.

“We see moderate hawkish risks into the December FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) on Wednesday, as the Fed mainly remains focused on optionality to respond to the possibility of continued inflation,” Citi analysts said.

“We are tactically bearish EURUSD into this week, in line with our overall view.”

The Norwegian crown was down 0.5 percent against the US dollar. Norges Bank is widely expected to raise its benchmark interest rate on Thursday, after being the first to hike rates in September as COVID-19 lockdowns ended.

The pound lost 0.2 percent to $1.3245 after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that Britain faces a "tidal wave" of the Omicron coronavirus variant and that two vaccine doses will not be enough to contain it.

The Swiss franc was flat, while it remained not far from its highest level since end-June 2015 versus the euro at 1.0373.

The Swiss National Bank, which has been battling the appreciation of the franc since the start of the pandemic, is due to make its latest interest rates decision on Thursday.

The Turkish lira fell 4 percent to 14.44 versus the dollar after hitting a new all-time low at 14.99 on concerns that persist about President Tayyip Erdogan's low-interest rate policy.

Turkey's central bank is expected to cut its policy rate by 100 basis points to 14 percent this week, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, despite inflation soaring above 21 percent.

Bitcoin was up 2 percent at $48,935.72 after hitting levels above $50,000 on Sunday. Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, fell 3percent to $4,013. (Editing by Timothy Heritage)