FOREX-Dollar holds nerve before Powell, Aussie and kiwi rise again

FOREX-Dollar holds nerve before Powell, Aussie and kiwi rise again
FOREX-Dollar holds nerve before Powell, Aussie and kiwi rise again

* Graphic: World FX rates

* Treasury market regains calm, yields support dollar

* Safe-harbour yen and Swiss franc fall against greenback

* Powell comments could set the tone for global markets

By Stanley White

TOKYO, March 4 (Reuters) – The dollar hit a seven-month high against the yen on Thursday as a more orderly rise in U.S. Treasury yields lent support ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that may determine the trend for global bond markets and currencies.

The dollar also traded near a three-month high against the Swiss franc and held on to gains against most currencies as a renewed sense of calm in the Treasury market underpinned sentiment.

However, the greenback lost ground against its Australian and New Zealand counterparts as traders who expect stronger global growth continued to stock up on commodity currencies.

Investors are anxious to see if Powell expresses concern about a recent volatile sell-off in Treasuries and if there is any change in his assessment of the economy before the Fed’s next meeting ending March 17.

The dollar may extend gains versus the yen as long as Treasury yields rise at a measured pace, but the greenback is likely to fall against currencies of major commodities exporters as more signs point to a rebound in global growth.

“The performance of the dollar will vary depending on the currency,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“Dollar/yen looks well bid because of yields and because Japan’s economy is underperforming relative to the United States, but as long as commodity prices rise, the dollar will weaken against commodity currencies.”

The dollar rose to 107.09 yen JPY=D3 , the highest since July last year.

The U.S. currency bought 0.9191 Swiss franc CHF=EBS , close to the highest since November.

The British pound GBP=D3 steadied at $1.3955, while the euro EUR=D3 traded at $1.2057, nursing a 0.24% loss from the previous session.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield edged up to 1.4757%.

A chaotic sell-off in Treasuries from the start of the year on concerns that massive government spending to support the global economy may drive up inflation culminated in 10-year yields rising to a one-year high of 1.6140% last week. move was so rapid that global stock markets tumbled and the dollar swooned against most currencies, but the greenback has since regained its composure as disorderly selling of Treasuries ebbed, for now at least.

The USD= stood at 91.005 against a basket of six major currencies, holding on to a 0.32% gain from Wednesday.

The Australian dollar AUD=D3 , which is often traded as a proxy for global growth because it is closely tied to commodities, recovered from early losses and rose to $0.7799.

The New Zealand dollar NZD=D3 , another closely watched commodity currency, also firmed slightly.

Traders said the and the are likely to continue rising because both economies are rebounding strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic and they will both benefit from an acceleration in global trade.

In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin fell 1.49% to $49,647, while rival digital currency ether ETH=BTSP fell 0.65% to $1,557.

has surged 78% so far this year as it gains more acceptance in the financial services industry, but the U.S. financial regulator is likely to start working on guidelines for digital assets, which could increase scrutiny of cryptocurrencies. bid prices at 0532 GMT Description



U.S. Close Pct Change


High Bid

Low Bid










+1.2044 Dollar/Yen






+107.1050 +106.9900 Euro/Yen






+129.1300 +128.9200 Dollar/Swiss







+0.9190 Sterling/Dollar GBP=D3






+1.3920 Dollar/Canadian CAD=D3






+1.2652 Aussie/Dollar







+0.7753 NZ







+0.7227 Dollar/Dollar

All spots FX= Tokyo spots AFX= Europe spots EFX= Volatilities FXVOL= Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ TKYFX


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