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Dollar falls against emerging currencies as oil gains

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 13:36
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The euro hit a seven-month low against the US dollar on Tuesday after a key European Central Bank official reinforced expectations for further monetary easing while a pick-up in confidence gave support to emerging market currencies.

[TOKYO] The euro hit a seven-month low against the US dollar on Tuesday after a key European Central Bank official reinforced expectations for further monetary easing while a pick-up in confidence gave support to emerging market currencies.

Trading focus on Monday was dominated in Asia by the terror attacks in Paris, which fuelled a flight to safety - hitting higher-yielding units - as investors worried about the possible impact of the already fragile global economy.

But nerves calmed through the day and a little more risk aversion returned in Europe and New York.

However, the European single currency was unable to bounce back from its Monday funk, and continued its downward descent.

The selling came after ECB Executive Board member Peter Praet said in a Bloomberg interview the bank was mulling fresh stimulus to add to its already vast bond-buying programme aimed at kickstarting growth and inflation.

"It's key for a central bank to keep inflation expectations anchored, especially in a period of slack in the economy, and we have some signals that these inflation expectations are still fragile," he said in Frankfurt on Monday.

"There are risks and this is why we're considering further action." ECB chief Mario Draghi last month hinted at a widening of the programme in December, which - combined with expectations of a US interest rate hike before 2016 - has pushed the euro to multi-month lows.

On Tuesday the single currency fell to US$1.0656, its lowest since April, from US$1.0687 in New York on Monday. It was also down at 131.54 yen from 131.64 yen.

The greenback was also up against the yen, lifted by expectations the Federal Reserve will begin to lift interest rates next month. In afternoon trade it bought 123.38 yen from 123.18 yen.

However, it retreated against higher-yielding emerging currencies on revived risk-buying interest.

The South Korean won, Indonesia's rupiah and Malaysian ringgit ticked higher, in line with a broad rally across regional stock and oil markets following big gains on Wall Street.

"Risk appetite has returned and currencies in emerging markets are regaining ground," Nizam Idris, head of foreign exchange and fixed-income strategy at Macquarie Bank in Singapore, told Bloomberg News.

"The recovery in Brent (crude) as well as US and European stocks also helped sentiment." The won added 0.31 per cent against the greenback, while the ringgit edged up 0.02 per cent. The Taiwan dollar put on 0.30 per cent and the rupiah tacked on 0.13 per cent.

AFP

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