Dollar rises on in-line U.S. GDP data, BoJ move
By Dion Rabouin
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar rose sharply on Friday, hitting a six-week high versus the yen, after the Bank of Japan took one of its main interest rates into negative territory and U.S. gross domestic product data largely matched economists' expectations.
The BoJ said it would apply a negative interest rate of minus 0.1 percent on selected current account deposits that financial institutions hold with it, effectively charging banks interest for holding excess deposits at the central bank.
The bank said it would cut interest rates further into negative territory if necessary.
The rate cut was the latest example of policy divergence between the United States and other world central banks, said Tony Bedikian, managing director of global markets at Citizens Bank in Boston.
The Federal Reserve raised U.S. interest rates in December and signaled that it intended to tighten credit four times this year, while Japan joined the European Central Bank in cutting rates to below zero.
"That in and of itself is a dollar strengthening story," Bedikian said. "We had an outsized move because it was a little bit of a surprise with Japanese rates pulling into negative territory and capital drove into the U.S. markets and into the dollar."
U.S. GDP grew at a 0.7 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, after a 2 percent growth in the third, but was near economists' revised predictions for economic growth.
"There's a little bit of support in today's number for the Fed raising rates," said Douglas Borthwick, managing director of Chapdelaine Foreign Exchange in New York. "And if there's support for the Fed raising rates that's obviously dollar positive." Continued...