U.S. dollar falls to 93. 9% as retail sales drop

220
3
U.S. dollar falls to 93. 9% as retail sales drop

Fed rate hikes in focus as the dollar slides from 1 - year high - to 2 - years high.

The next tier of retail sales in the U.S. is expected to be the US Department of Commerce on Friday, calling for FTC purchases.

Bitcoin hits $60,000 as trading markets scout the first U.S. ETFs (ITCs) market.

The dollar index, which measures the Greenback against six rivals, fell 0.1% to 93.945 on Friday. It is on track for a decline of 0.29% this week despite dropping to 94.563 on Monday after hitting the highest since sept. 25 of last year at 78.563.

Global stocks have strengthened, but only a positive sign is seen in positive market sentiment, which has lifted Brent crude oil, crude oil and other commodity prices.

Only against the yen - another currency seen as a haven - has the dollar managed to maintain momentum of the past five weeks, beating the yen on Friday and touching 114.075 yen for the first time since December 2018.

We end our week with risk flying, wrote Chris Weston of the agency Pepperstone in Melbourne in a note to clients.

Equities are going up, and the JPY has no place as a hedge because it would drag on overall portfolio performance, Weston said.

The greenback had rallied since September on fears the U.S. central bank would tighten monetary policy faster than previously expected amid an improving economy and a strong energy price.

Minutes of the September meeting confirmed this week that a slowing of stimulus is all but certain to start this year, although policymakers are sharply divided over inflation and what they should do about it.

The money markets are currently pricing in about 50 50 odds of a 25 basis point rate hike in July.

The dollar index is looking a little shaky, but any slippage should prove modest with Fed tapering now imminent, Westpac strategists wrote in a client note.

If any dips in the index should be limited to 93.70, they said.

The next major glimpse of the U.S. economy comes later on Friday with the release of retail sales figures.

While traders see the risks for an earlier rate lift-off, they also priced a lower terminal rate, with projected one-year rate five years from now falling to 1.63% from 1.97% over the course of this week, Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at National Australia BankAustralia Bank, wrote in a client note.

This drop in terminal Fed Funds pricing might go some way to explaining why the USD sits slightly lower on the week, he said.

The euro edged to $1.16065 after touching $1.1624 for the first time since Sept. 4 on Thursday, after empiricizing the euro with the euro - level for the first time since Sept. 4.

Sterling was 0.1% higher at $1.36835 following its climb to the highest from September 24 at $1.3734 overnight.

The risk-sensitive Aussie dollar added $0.7423, approaching the USD $74265 highest of the previous session that was more than one month old.

The British kiwi dollar rose 0.19% to $0.70585, extending Thursday's 1% increase. It touched $0.7060 earlier, the highest since 24 Sept. at $0.70415.

Bitcoin rallied as high as $60,000, an almost six-month peak, as investors became increasingly confident that U.S. regulators would approve the launch of an exchange-traded fund based on its futures contracts.

The smaller rival ether rose as high as $3858, the highest since Sept. 7, the highest since Sept. 7.