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Dollar takes a break from this week’s slide ahead of BoE, ECB meetings

Randy Mancini 11 Feb 2
FILE PHOTO: U.S. one dollar banknotes are seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken
FILE PHOTO: U.S. one dollar banknotes are seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken, February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

February 3, 2022

By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar found a footing in Asia on Thursday, pausing the week’s slide as a slump in tech and social media stocks soured appetite for riskier currencies, and as traders awaited central bank meetings in Britain and Europe.

The risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars fell slightly in morning trade. Sterling and the euro did not extend recent gains, and the common currency was marginally weaker at $1.1297. The yen held at 114.41 per dollar.

Shares in Facebook owner Meta plunged more than 20% after the bell as earnings and the outlook fell short of expectations.

Shares in Twitter and Spotify also fell and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 2%, dragging on demand for currencies like the Andipodeans, said Westpac analyst Imre Speizer in Christchurch.

The Aussie was last down 0.2% at $0.7120, shy of resistance at $0.7180. The kiwi was 0.1% lower at $0.6625. [AUD/]

Trade in Asia was lightened by a holiday in China.

Policy decisions from the Bank of England (BoE) and European Central Bank (ECB) are due at 1200 GMT and 1245 GMT respectively, and a news conference with ECB President Christine Lagarde is scheduled at 1330 GMT.

“Hawkish outcomes might pressure the U.S. dollar,” said Speizer. The dollar index has dropped back to its 50-day moving average and was steady on Thursday at 96.043.

Markets have fully priced a 25 basis point hike from the BoE, so the focus will likely fall on the outlook.

While the ECB is not expected to offer up policy changes, hot consumer prices and recent strong labour data has raised expectations for a shift in tone, especially around inflation.

“The odds have clearly risen that the bank opens the door to normalising policy and Christine Lagarde potentially tells us that she cannot rule out a hike this year,” said Chris Weston, head of research at brokerage Pepperstone in Melbourne.

“This would move the bank closer to market pricing and justify a long euro position.”

Sterling hovered at $1.3560 and 83.29 pence per euro. Euro/sterling volatility gauges stood at their highest for the year ahead of the meetings.

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Currency bid prices at 0211 GMT

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session

Euro/Dollar

$1.1302 $1.1304 -0.01% -0.58% +1.1306 +1.1294

Dollar/Yen

114.3500 114.4300 +0.01% -0.50% +114.4650 +114.3500

Euro/Yen

129.23 129.35 -0.09% -0.84% +129.3800 +129.2000

Dollar/Swiss

0.9191 0.9190 +0.05% +0.80% +0.9198 +0.9195

Sterling/Dollar

1.3560 1.3571 -0.04% +0.30% +1.3575 +1.3558

Dollar/Canadian

1.2681 1.2668 +0.12% +0.31% +1.2687 +1.2672

Aussie/Dollar

0.7121 0.7135 -0.18% -2.02% +0.7134 +0.7116

NZ

Dollar/Dollar 0.6625 0.6634 -0.11% -3.19% +0.6632 +0.6610

All spots

Tokyo spots

Europe spots

Volatilities

Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)