Dollar wavers ahead of central bank meetings in Europe, Japan, Canada

Farewell to small US dollar banknotes? KT/Siv Channa. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

WASHINGTON D.C., Oct 26, 2021, CNBC. The dollar inched higher against the safe-haven yen while easing a touch against riskier currencies on Tuesday as solid company earnings and a glimmer of improvement in U.S.-China trade ties lifted sentiment, while rates expectations weighed on the euro, CNBC reported.

The greenback was last up 0.2% at 113.93 yen and was holding steady against the euro at $1.1599. Moves were slight as traders eye central bank meetings in Europe, Japan and Canada this week and data releases in Australia and the United States.

China’s Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen held a video call which readouts from both sides suggested was at least not acrimonious.

Meanwhile earnings have driven U.S. stock markets to fresh peaks and car-maker and mood barometer Tesla to a valuation above $1 trillion.

The risk-sensitive Australian dollar rose about 0.3% and poked past 75 U.S. cents to $0.7513, China’s yuan was firm near a four-month high at 6.3845 per dollar and the South Korean won hit a seven-week peak.

“The dollar has been reversing lower because of a more risk- on market, and that’s due to earnings coming in better than expected,” said Bank of Singapore analyst Moh Siong Sim, while investors await data and central bank meetings for direction.

The U.S. dollar index held at 93.856 — in between a one-year high of 94.563 hit earlier in the month and a one-month low of 93.483 made on Monday. Analysts expect it might stay there through a slew of central bank meetings in coming days.

“The dollar looks to be finding its feet in the mid-93s,” analysts at Westpac said in a note, as focus turns first to U.S. growth data on Wednesday and then to the European Central Bank’s meeting on Thursday.
Data and policy
Anticipation of the ECB pushing back on market inflation forecasts — as well as a soft German sentiment survey on Monday — have dragged on the euro ahead of Thursday.

The ECB will likely underscore its dovish guidance, while U.S. GDP will show the economy’s rebound stalling, Westpac’s analysts said, though the scene remains set for the Federal Reserve to announce a reduction in bond purchases next week.

“All told that should keep short-term yield spreads trending in the dollar’s favour and leave the dollar with a bid tone.”

Central bank meetings in Japan and Canada are also scheduled this week and rising inflation in Canada has increased pressure on policymakers to pull forward rate hikes. Traders are watching Wednesday’s meeting for any hawkish clues.

The Canadian dollar stands at C$1.2383 per dollar, having scaled a four-month peak last week.

No changes are expected from the Bank of Japan, although Reuters has reported that policymakers are discussing an end to a COVID-19 loan scheme.

Australian quarterly inflation data due on Wednesday is also likely to set the tone in a tussle between rates markets and the resolutely dovish Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

Economists expect growth in Australia’s trimmed mean consumer prices, the central bank’s preferred measure, to have accelerated to an annual pace of 1.8% in the September quarter from 1.6% in the preceding three months.

Beyond Friday, the Fed, the RBA and the Bank of England meet next week with markets having priced a roughly 60% chance that the Bank of England raises interest rates to head off inflation.

Sterling has been firming at the prospect of higher rates and was last steady at $1.3765. The New Zealand dollar rose 0.1% to $0.7174.

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