LONDON (Reuters) – The euro held at an eight-week high against the dollar on Monday despite a disappointing sentiment survey in Germany as expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will maintain its dovish stance at a policy meeting weighed on the greenback.
German business morale improved by less than expected in April as a third wave of COVID-19 infections and problems with supply of components in the industrial sector slowed a recovery in Europe’s largest economy.
“Both the third wave of infections and bottlenecks in intermediate products are impeding Germany’s economic recovery,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said in a statement.
The euro gave up some of its earlier gains to stand 0.03% higher at $1.2105 at 0823 GMT, levels not seen since the beginning of March.
On Friday, the common currency posted its biggest daily gains since early February after positive data on European services and manufacturing activity lifted sentiment.
The dollar index was down 0.13% at its lowest level since March 3.
The Fed’s next meeting ends on Wednesday, and while no major policy changes are expected, investors will pay close attention to comments from Chairman Jerome Powell.
Powell is likely to face questions over whether an improving labour market and rising coronavirus vaccinations warrant a withdrawal of monetary easing, but most analysts expect him to say such talk is premature, which would put downward pressure on Treasury yields and the dollar.
“The Fed has managed to convince the market that it is in no position to begin contemplating tapering, never mind raising rates, for – in their own words – ‘some time’,” John Velis, a strategist at BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) wrote to clients.
The dollar stood at 107.68 yen, close to its lowest since March 4.
The British pound was 0.3% higher at $1.3924, adding to a 0.3% gain in the previous session.
In emerging markets, the Turkish lira weakened to as much as 8.48 versus the dollar, close to its record low of 8.58 reached in early November.
The currency, among the worst performers in emerging markets this year due to worsening relations with the United States and worries about a dovish central bank governor, was last quoted at 8.33.
The onshore yuan edged up to 6.4873 per dollar, just shy of a six-week high.
Elsewhere, the Australian and New Zealand dollars rose toward one-month highs.
In the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin reclaimed the $50,000 mark, last trading 7.6% higher at $52,862 and recouping some of its losses from last week triggered by U.S. President Joe Biden’s plan to raise capital gains taxes for wealthy investors.
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