Dollar climbs on Fed rate-hike outlook, up for fifth day

Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:29am EDT
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By Dion Rabouin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar climbed for a fifth straight day against a basket of major currencies, on track for its best streak in almost a year, as investors priced in the possibility of two U.S. interest-rate hikes this year from the Federal Reserve.

St Louis Fed President James Bullard said Thursday in prepared remarks that another U.S. interest rate hike "may not be far off."

Bullard's comments followed similar remarks Wednesday in which he said that a rate hike could come as soon as next month. That was in line with similarly hawkish comments from other U.S. policymakers earlier in the week.

"Hawkish Fed talk this week has caught a market that has largely underestimated the risk of U.S. rate rises, while lighter, pre-holiday trade seems to be enhancing the dollar's resurgence," said Western Union Business Solutions senior market analyst Joe Manimbo in a note to clients.

Some financial markets will be closed for the Good Friday holiday.

The dollar fell modestly in early North American trading following data showing a fall in durable goods orders and a slight uptick in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits, but remained higher on the day.

The greenback earlier hit an eight-day high of 96.364 .DXY against a basket of major currencies, putting it in line for its longest winning streak since early April 2015.

The dollar index was last up 0.2 percent to 96.266. It has risen about 1.2 percent so far this week, its second-best weekly gain in four months.   Continued...

A U.S. one-hundred dollar bill (C) and Japanese 10,000 yen notes are spread in Tokyo, in this February 28, 2013 picture illustration. REUTERS/Shohei Miyano