Dollar prices hover near 11-month highs, shaky pound awaits BOE

Dollar prices hovered near an 11-month high against a basket of currencies on Thursday, supported by a rise in U.S. yields, while the pound struggled at its lowest level since November 2017 ahead of Bank of England’s monetary policy decision.

The dollar index against a group of six major currencies stood at 95.11 after rising to 95.299 overnight, its highest since mid-July 2017.

Buoying the greenback, long-term Treasury yields bounced back from three-week lows on Wednesday as risk aversion that took hold earlier in the week amid the U.S.-China trade tensions eased for now.

Treasury yields also were propped up by remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who said on Wednesday that the U.S. central bank should continue with a gradual pace of rate increases.

“Powell’s remarks were not particularly ground breaking but it appears to have helped the dollar just as U.S. equities are recovering after being oversold on earlier risk aversion,” said Shusuke Yamada, currency and equity strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tokyo.

The dollar stood little changed at 110.38 yen after gaining 0.3 percent overnight. The U.S. currency had fallen to a one-week low of 109.55 on Tuesday.

The euro was a shade higher at $1.1577 having a lost 0.15 percent the previous day.

The pound stood little changed at $1.3173 after slipping overnight to a seven-month low of $1.3145.

Sterling managed to move away from the seven-month low after British Prime Minister Theresa May won a crucial Brexit vote in parliament, averting a rebellion that could have undermined her authority.

But the bounce by the pound was limited ahead of the BOE’s policy-setting meeting later on Thursday, which is expected to set the currency’s near-term direction as the central bank weighs the prospects of a future interest rate hike.

The BoE is widely expected to stand pat on policy this time and focus is on how strong the signals are for the possibility of rate increases at the next policy meetings in August and December.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were flat at $0.7370 and $0.6864, respectively, with the Aussie having managed to crawl off a 13-month trough plumbed earlier in the week.

Source: Reuters