Euro bounces back above dollar parity

LONDON – The euro on Wednesday (26) jumped back above parity with the dollar, the US currency sliding against its main rivals on concerns over the world’s biggest economy and the prospect of slower interest rate hikes.

The euro bounced back above one dollar for the first time since mid-September, helped also by expectations of a big interest-rate hike from the European Central Bank on Thursday (27).

There were large gains against the dollar also for the British pound and yen, helping them recover some ground following the recent sharp losses.

The dollar retreated following “a string of negative (US) economic data released since the beginning of the week”, noted ActivTrades senior analyst Ricardo Evangelista.

Poorly received data, including slower house price growth and weaker consumer confidence, showed that big rate hikes from the Federal Reserve are “starting to open some cracks in the American economy”, he said.

“The Federal Reserve has been hiking rates aggressively in an attempt to bring inflation under control, and the country’s economy is starting to suffer as a result,” Evangelista added.

A string of poor economic news has been welcomed by investors as it opens up the possibility that the Fed can slow down or end its interest rate hikes sooner. The recent news has seen risk investments like equities rebound in recent weeks.

The Bank of Canada on Wednesday increased its main rate by a smaller than expected 0.5 percentage points.

Market analyst Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said the move “suggests that central banks are starting to wake up to the possibility that too aggressive rate rises could do more harm than good.”

He added: “It’s also got markets asking the question, could the Fed follow suit next week after another poor set of housing numbers from the US.”

Wall Street, which had opened lower on poor results from tech giants, was mostly higher in late morning trading.

In Europe, London, Frankfurt and Paris stocks all ended the day higher.

Sterling on Wednesday jumped more than 1% against the dollar, winning a boost also from markets welcoming the appointment of Rishi Sunak as prime minister.

The move was seen as offering stability to the UK economy after weeks of upheaval fuelled by predecessor Liz Truss’s tax-cutting budget.

“The pound pushed back above the 1.1600 area against the US dollar today and risen against the euro despite the prospect that next week’s budget statement has been delayed until 17th November in order to allow time” for updated fiscal forecasts, said Hewson.

– Agence France-Presse


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