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ECB bets boost euro, dollar loses ground

ECB bets boost euro, dollar loses ground
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pound and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Kevin Buckland and Alun John

TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – The euro climbed past parity against a softening dollar on Tuesday, ahead of German inflation that will help indicate the likelihood of a super-sized European Central Bank rate hike.

The European common currency was 0.32% higher at $1.00295, buoyed by the rate bets and extending the previous day’s rally, albeit from near 20-year lows.

“It’s about the ECB being priced far more aggressively over the past few sessions, as well as a little bit of pressure coming off the natural gas prices,” said John Hardy head of FX strategy at Saxo Bank.

“It’s also noticeable we’ve seen a bit of magnetism around this parity level for euro/dollar, so many times these big round levels can become major sticking points.

The chances of a 75 basis point move have been rising after a parade of ECB speakers at the Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole backed the case for a big hike.

German CPI data due later in the day will help provide an indication of how aggressively the ECB will need to move to curtail inflation. Preliminary data released earlier showed Spanish national consumer prices rose 10.4% in August from a year earlier, down from 10.8% the previous month.

Also on traders’ radars are several ECB speakers due to make public remarks later on Tuesday, which could guide markets towards or away from such a large increase, as well as gas prices, which are lower than they have been as European countries’ storage facilities fill up.

The dollar was also down against other majors, losing 0.27% against the Japanese yen while sterling gained 0.32% to $1.1743.

The Australian dollar, often seen as a proxy for risk sentiment, rallied 0.5%, alongside gains in shares.

The dollar index – which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, with the euro the most heavily weighted – stood at 108.46, after dropping back from 109.48 overnight, a high not seen since September 2002.

An aggressive programme of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve has been supporting the dollar, and U.S. jobs figures due on Friday will be closely watched for further clues to the interest rate outlook.

Bitcoin was also on the front foot in line with markets’ positive attitude to riskier assets, trading at $20,400 up from a six-week low of $19,526 hit over the weekend.

Source: Investing.com

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