- Dollar index hits lowest level since June 2016
- Euro hits highest since August 2015
The dollar edged up on Tuesday after falling to a 13-month low against a basket of major currencies as investors gained hope U.S. President Donald Trump could push through his expansionary fiscal agenda but remained wary of the short-term U.S. economic outlook.
The euro rose to its highest since August 2015 and was just a hair below a 2-1/2-year high, boosted by a stronger-than-expected German business survey.
The Ifo business sentiment index reached a record high, showing that Germans were “euphoric” about the country’s business climate.
The dollar regained some ground against the euro and other major currencies as U.S. Treasury yields rose along with U.S. equities in afternoon North American trading, reducing demand for safe-haven bonds.
The dollar further rebounded as the U.S. Senate passed a motion to proceed on a repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which Trump and Republicans have vowed to undo.
Uncertainty about the healthcare vote, as well as an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and its possible collusion with the Trump campaign, has cast a cloud over the Republican president’s pledges to cut taxes and ramp up spending, analysts said, weakening expectations for U.S. growth and inflation.
The market had also started to get a “little complacent” ahead of an announcement from the Federal Reserve following the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, said Scotia Capital currency strategist Shaun Osborne.
“With the Fed on the horizon it seemed prudent of the markets to cover some of the dollar shorts,” he said.
The Fed began its meeting Tuesday with no change to interest rates expected. However, investors will be looking for the U.S. central bank’s outlook on trimming its $4.5 trillion in bond holdings, said Eric Nelson, currency strategist at Wells Fargo.
The dollar index had fallen to its lowest since June 2016, to 93.638. It has fallen nearly 4 percent over the last month and more than 8 percent this year. It was last up 0.15 percent at 94.095.
The euro had risen more than half a percent to $1.1711, matching its high from Aug. 24, 2015, and just below its highest since January 2015. That represented an important technical level, Nelson said.
The euro was last up 0.1 percent at $1.1647. The dollar rose 0.7 percent against the Japanese yen to 111.86 yen. (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Paul Simao and Steve Orlofsky)