Dollar steadies after worst fall in two months

19 March, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • Stocks rose and easily absorbed the latest increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve a move that was widely expected

The Swiss franc gained nearly half a percent against the euro while the yen inched back into positive territory, touching a more than two-week high. It's trading about 2.4% higher on the week, which would be the highest such gain since the week ended February 3, according to FactSet data. Groundbreaking for new homes rose 3% to a seasonally adjusted 1.288 million units.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% to close at 20,937.82.

"Momentum players will shift from equities to gold where there is momentum that is now strengthening", said Nichols.

Following the end of a two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Fed announced a decision to raise its policy rate target, as widely expected. With evidence building that wages and consumer spending are finally slowing, however, money market pricing has pointed to there being little chance of the bank raising rates to cool an economy at a time when political risks to growth are rising.

Weakness in the buck can make assets priced in the currency more appealing to those using other monetary units.

US stock indexes took a small step back Thursday, while bond yields recovered some of their sharp losses from Wednesday. Although there are lingering concerns about Trump's ability to implement his pro-business agenda, their enactment could cause the Fed to quicken its pace of rate increases-a negative for gold.

Oil prices slipped as support from a weaker dollar was offset by US crude inventories near record high levels.

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But the dollar struggled to make more progress through the European morning and waned as NY traders arrived at their desks.

That helped Amsterdam's AEX stock index climb to its highest level in more than nine years, while both Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 hit their highest levels since mid-2015 as fears eased that the euro zone was heading inexorably towards a break-up. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 1.5 percent at $48.45 a barrel.

In Europe, millions of Dutch voters go to the polls Wednesday in an election overshadowed by a blazing diplomatic row with Turkey, with all eyes on the fate of far-right MP Geert Wilders.

Two-year notes, which are considered most vulnerable to Fed policy, were down slightly in price, while yields increased to 1.324 percent from 1.316 percent. Brent crude, which is used to price global oils, rose 26 cents to $52.00 a barrel.

Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, with the materials group leading broadbased gains as base and precious metal prices gained further ground following the Federal Reserve interest rate decision the day before.

CURRENCIES: The euro from dipped to $1.0746 from $1.0749 late Thursday, and the British pound fell to $1.2367 from $1.2358.

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