May 1, 2018 / 4:55 AM / 6 months ago

Dollar jumps before Fed statement, turns positive for 2018

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar surged into positive territory for 2018 on Tuesday and broke past key levels against several currencies as a divergence between growth and the interest rate outlook versus other countries spurred investors to chase the currency higher.

A man is seen in front of a sheet of five Euro notes at the opening of the new Central Bank of Ireland offices in Dublin, Ireland April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

The dollar, traded against a basket of major currencies, rose as high as 92.566 .DXY, the highest since Jan. 10, before retracing to 92.454. The greenback is approaching this year’s high of 92.64 reached on Jan. 9. and is above the year’s open at 92.24.

“We’re pretty much back to where we were at the beginning of the year, so a lot of the dollar weakness has been pretty much wiped out,” said Sireen Harajli, foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho in New York.

The euro, which has been knocked by weaker-than-expected economic data and growing doubts about when the European Central Bank will normalize its monetary policy, fell 0.67 percent against the greenback to $1.1998 EUR=.

The U.S. economy has shown signs of strength in 2018 that few other developed economies can match.

Sterling extended losses on Tuesday to below the $1.37 line for the first time in 3-1/2 months after survey data showed British manufacturing growth sliding to a 17-month low.

Markets do not expect a change in interest rates from the Federal Reserve at the conclusion of its meeting on Wednesday, though analysts will be watching for any change in language and indications that a June hike is likely.

Investors are also focused on Friday’s employment report for April for further indications of the strength of the U.S. economy and inflation pressures.

Data on Tuesday showed that U.S. factory activity slowed for a second straight month in April, weighed down by shortages of skilled workers and rising capacity constraints.

Geopolitical tensions, including around a U.S.-China trade spat, have also subsided in recent weeks to support the dollar.

“There was some concerns about the potential for trade wars and the U.S. administration’s hard line on China. That seems to have eased a little bit and given markets some sense of comfort,” said Harajli.

Traders said relatively illiquid markets because of holidays across much of Europe and parts of Asia had exacerbated moves on Tuesday.

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session

Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.2000 $1.2077 -0.64% +0.03% +1.2085 +1.1982

Dollar/Yen JPY= 109.7200 109.3300 +0.36% -2.62% +109.7900 +109.2500

Euro/Yen EURJPY= 131.72 132.05 -0.25% -2.56% +132.1300 +131.5800

Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9958 0.9905 +0.54% +2.21% +0.9969 +0.9906

Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.3618 1.3769 -1.10% +0.78% +1.3773 +1.3590

Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.2843 1.2838 +0.04% +2.12% +1.2914 +1.2820

Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7494 0.7531 -0.49% -3.94% +0.7546 +0.7474

ar

Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1952 1.1967 -0.13% +2.25% +1.1973 +1.1937

Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8810 0.8771 +0.44% -0.82% +0.8822 +0.8761

NZ Dollar/Dolar NZD= 0.7007 0.7034 -0.38% -1.11% +0.7040 +0.6992

Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.0846 8.0139 +0.88% -1.49% +8.1030 +8.0085

Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.7032 9.6812 +0.23% -1.48% +9.7235 +9.6744

Dollar/Sweden SEK= 8.8414 8.7477 +0.44% +7.80% +8.8705 +8.7391

Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.6120 10.5650 +0.44% +7.86% +10.6590 +10.5573

Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes in London; Editing by Frances Kerry

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