Euro dips as markets manage expectations of ECB rate hikes

By Hannah Lang

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The dollar climbed on Tuesday while the euro faltered after European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde offered no fresh insight into the central bank’s policy outlook.

The ECB is widely expected to follow its global peers by raising interest rates in July to try to check soaring inflation though economists are divided on the magnitude of any rate hike.

The euro held below $1.06 after Lagarde said the central bank would move gradually but with the option to act decisively on any deterioration in medium-term inflation, especially if there were signs of a de-anchoring of inflation expectations.

The euro was last down 0.6% to $1.052.

“The ECB is in a tough spot because it is expected to see more significant slowing than a lot of its peers,” said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist at TD Securities in New York.

“There’s an inherent limitation to how much the ECB is going to be able to do, particularly in the relative sense to, say, the Fed,” Issa added, pointing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the fragmentation risk in the euro zone.

Money markets are pricing in about 238 basis points (bps) of cumulative rate hikes by mid-2023 compared to the around 280 bps they anticipated two weeks ago.

The U.S. dollar index, which struck a two-decade high of 105.79 this month, was last up 0.51% at 104.490.

“If there was an overall theme, it’s still that the dollar is stronger during this period of uncertainty and I expect the uncertainty to continue for at least the summer until we get a better idea of what inflation looks like,” said Marvin Loh, senior global macro strategist at State Street.

New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams on Tuesday in an interview on CNBC said interest rates “definitely” needed to be between 3% and 3.5% by the end of this year, but that he did not anticipate a U.S. recession.

Elsewhere, the offshore Chinese yuan moved higher after China reduced COVID-19 pandemic-related quarantine for international travelers.

In crytocurrencies, bitcoin last fell 2.96% to $20,278.95. It fell to as low as $17,588.88 earlier this month.

Ethereum last fell 3.52% to $1,159.35.

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Currency bid prices at 3:15PM (1915 GMT)

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

Previous Change

Session

Dollar index 104.4900 103.9700 +0.51% 9.227% +104.6100 +103.7500

Euro/Dollar $1.0521 $1.0583 -0.57% -7.44% +$1.0606 +$1.0503

Dollar/Yen 136.2450 135.4800 +0.57% +18.36% +136.3800 +135.1200

Euro/Yen 143.36 143.35 +0.01% +10.01% +144.2700 +142.8700

Dollar/Swiss 0.9571 0.9562 +0.13% +4.96% +0.9586 +0.9535

Sterling/Dollar $1.2181 $1.2265 -0.68% -9.93% +$1.2291 +$1.2181

Dollar/Canadian 1.2876 1.2872 +0.03% +1.84% +1.2894 +1.2820

Aussie/Dollar $0.6908 $0.6925 -0.25% -4.97% +$0.6965 +$0.6907

Euro/Swiss 1.0071 1.0121 -0.49% -2.87% +1.0131 +1.0057

Euro/Sterling 0.8638 0.8626 +0.14% +2.83% +0.8646 +0.8612

NZ $0.6239 $0.6302 -0.92% -8.78% +$0.6313 +$0.6239

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway 9.8310 9.7985 +0.37% +11.64% +9.8420 +9.7425

Euro/Norway 10.3453 10.3608 -0.15% +3.32% +10.3777 +10.3068

Dollar/Sweden 10.1510 10.0692 +0.17% +12.57% +10.1551 +10.0390

Euro/Sweden 10.6807 10.6631 +0.17% +4.36% +10.6883 +10.6341

(Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in London; editing by Jason Neely, Will Dunham, Chizu Nomiyama and Barbara Lewis)

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