3 months ago
Forex

Dollar at 2-Week Highs with Fed, Trade in Focus

Investing.com - The dollar was trading at two-week highs against a currency basket on Wednesday as markets awaited fresh signals

Investing.com - The dollar was trading at two-week highs against a currency basket on Wednesday as markets awaited fresh signals from the Federal Reserve on interest rates and developments in the U.S.-China trade war remained in focus.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, edged up 0.1% to 97.35 by 04:25 AM GMT (09:25 AM GMT), the most since Nov. 13.

Investors were looking ahead to a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell later in the day and the minutes of the U.S. central bank’s November meeting, due to be released on Thursday. Markets are hoping for fresh indications on the future path of interest rate increases.

The Fed is widely expected to raise rates for a fourth time this year at its upcoming meeting in December and has indicated that it may raise rates three more time in 2019.

But dovish sounding comments by some policymakers in recent weeks have raised the prospect that the Fed may slow the pace of future rate hikes amid concerns over the outlook for the global economy and ongoing global trade tensions.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump once again criticized Powell, whom he picked last year to lead the bank, and the Fed’s rate hikes, which he said were harming the economy.

Also Tuesday, Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida backed further rate hikes, but said the tightening path would be data dependent.

Market watchers were also looking ahead to the upcoming G20 summit in Buenos Aires later this week, where Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, are scheduled to discuss trade. Investors are hoping that talks could lead to a ceasefire in the trade war.

Trump said earlier this week that it was "highly unlikely" he would accept China's request to hold off a planned increase in tariffs due to take effect in January.

The dollar was holding steady at two-week highs against the yen, with USD/JPY at 113.79.

The euro was at two-week lows against the dollar, with EUR/USD changing hands at 1.1285.

The pound edged higher, with GBP/USD rising 0.13% to 1.2763. The Bank of England was to release it assessment of the UK’s Brexit withdrawal agreement later in the day, which was likely to contain warnings about a no-deal Brexit scenario.