Dollar Weakens; Fed Minutes Confirm Dovish Stance Continues


Dollar Weakens; Fed Minutes Confirm Dovish Stance Continues

The dollar weakened in early European trading Thursday, trading near two-week lows after minutes of the Federal Reserve's March policy meeting pointed

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The dollar weakened in early European trading Thursday, trading near two-week lows after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s March policy meeting pointed – unsurprisingly – to continued loose monetary policy.

At 2:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was down 0.1% at 92.340, after dipping as low as 92.155 on Wednesday for the first time since March 23.

USD/JPY fell 0.1% at 109.70, GBP/USD was up 0.3% at 1.3769, EUR/USD was up 0.1% at 1.1881 after rebounding from the almost five-month low of 1.1704 at the end of March, while the risk-sensitive AUD/USD was up 0.3% at 0.7635.

The minutes for the U.S. central bank’s last meeting showed that the officials remained cautious about the country’s economic recovery from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, even while acknowledging that the recovery was gathering steam, and committed to monetary policy support until a rebound was more secure.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak at a virtual International Monetary Fund conference later on Thursday.

Also weighing on the greenback has been the recent slide in bond yields. Although the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield last traded around 1.66%, after dipping below 1.63% during the previous session, this is still a far cry from the more than one-year high of above 1.77% late last month.

“The greenback has been showing signs of weakness this week, especially versus the low-yielders, but it seems too early to conclude this is the start of a broader USD downtrend just yet,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

The dollar’s strong rally of the previous quarter was based on the idea that accelerating U.S. economic growth and inflation could force the Fed to abandon its pledge to keep interest rates near zero until 2024.

While the Fed maintained its dovish stance, it did acknowledge that growth was expanding, and a quick look at the situation over in Europe with virus infections on the rise suggests that this competitive advantage is here to stay, at least for the next few months.

“A continuation of the euro’s good momentum is likely to need to rely on a tangible improvement in the EU’s virus/vaccine situation, which may still take some time to materialize, “ added ING.

Elsewhere, USD/PLN fell 0.2% to 3.8433, while EUR/PLN dropped 0.1% to 4.5640 after the Poland’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 0.1% for an 11th straight month on Wednesday.

“The post-meeting statement confirms that the Council expects elevated CPI inflation to be only temporary and reiterated the need to continue bond purchases and the bill discount credit program,” ING analysts said, in a note.