News Column

Dollar at seven-week low vs Euro, Yen lower

February 19, 2014

The U.S. dollar fell to its lowest in seven weeks against h Euro after data showed a slowdown in manufacturing in the New York region, boosting uncertainty about the Federal Reserve's next move on monetary policy. The New York Federal Reserve's "Empire State" general business conditions index dropped to 4.48 in February from 12.51 in January. Analysts had expected a reading of 9.0. The recent run of poor data indicating a loss in momentum in the U.S. economy and have boosted doubts over the future of the Fed tapering. Janet Yellen, in her first public comments as Fed chief on February 11, emphasized continuity in the U.S. central bank`s policy strategy of cutting asset purchases by $10 billion a month, but some suspect the Fed could slow the pace of its reduction in stimulus following weak U.S. economic data. The euro rose to $1.37691, marking the highest level since January 2 against the dollar and surpassing a key resistance of $1.3736. The euro barely reacted to a mixed German ZEW survey of analyst and investor sentiment. It was last at $1.37555, up 0.38 percent on the day. The euro rose as well against the British pound to trade at 82.45 pence after softer-than-expected UK inflation data. The Yen , meanwhile, dropped to its lowest level in almost three weeks against the U.S. dollar and the Euro after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept its policy steady, as expected, and also extended its special lending program in order to further boost the Japan economy. In an attempt to get Japanese banks to lend more, the BOJ decided to extend three special loan facilities by one year. It also raised the maximum amount of the loans and said financial institutions would be able to borrow funds at a fixed rate of 0.1 percent over 4 years instead of 1-3 years at present. The measures were seen as an inclination to ease monetary policy and sent Japanese stocks higher and the yen lower. BOJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda said the economy was moving in line with the central bank`s assessment, suggesting no further easing steps were likely in the near term. The Nikkei stock average .N225 ended 3.1 percent higher, pushing the yen lower. The dollar was up 0.44 percent at 102.332 yen , having hit a February high of 102.73, while the euro was up 0.75 percent at 140.76 yen.

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Financial Markets

Story Tools