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Dollar Is 0.2 Percent From Six-Year High Versus Yen as Fed Meets

The dollar was about 0.2 percent from a six-year high versus the yen as investors weighed the timing for the Federal Reserve’s first interest-rate increase since 2006 before policy makers begin a two-day meeting today.

A gauge of the U.S. currency against its major counterparts was about 0.1 percent from a 14-month high. Australia’s dollar fell along with Asian stocks, reversing earlier gains that came after minutes of the Reserve Bank’s September policy meeting said interest rates should remain stable. The pound weakened versus most of its 16 major peers before Scotland votes on its independence this week.

“We’re still looking for a stronger and supported U.S. dollar over time,” said Emma Lawson, a senior currency strategist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney. “You are seeing a general pickup in economic growth.”

The dollar was little changed at 107.19 yen as of 8:23 a.m. London time after climbing to 107.39 on Sept. 12, the highest since September 2008. The dollar was little changed at $1.2935 per euro and the yen was at 138.67 per euro.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index (MXAP), which tracks the greenback against 10 major currencies, was little changed at 1,050.99 after rising to 1,052.14 yesterday, the highest since July 2013.

Fed Bets

Fed funds futures data compiled by Bloomberg showed traders saw a 78 percent chance yesterday U.S. policy makers will raise the target for overnight loans between banks by their September 2015 meeting, up from 73 percent on Sept. 1. The target rate has been in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008.

Reports this month showed manufacturing and services growth in the world’s biggest economy accelerated in August, while the trade deficit narrowed in July.

“Dollar-yen has had a very strong rally on the back of very hawkish expectations from the FOMC this week,” said Sue Trinh, a senior currency strategist at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong, referring to the Federal Open Market Committee.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a report today it sees the dollar climbing to 109 yen by the fourth quarter, up from a previous forecast of 106. It predicts the euro will rise to 142 yen over the same period, compared with a previous estimate of 138. The median projections in Bloomberg surveys of analysts put the dollar at 106 yen and the euro at 138 yen by Dec. 31.

Best Performer

The dollar has risen 3.5 percent in the past month, the best performer among 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes. The yen has fallen 1.7 percent, the biggest decline within the gauges. The euro has lost 0.5 percent.

Australia’s dollar weakened as a decline in equities sapped demand for higher-yielding assets. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares fell for a ninth day, dropping 0.4 percent.

The Aussie earlier climbed as much as 0.3 percent as minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Sept. 2 meeting showed policy makers “considered that the most prudent course was likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.” Officials kept the benchmark rate at 2.5 percent for a 12th-straight gathering.

RBA Assistant Governor Christopher Kent said a further decline in the currency would support demand for local producers that compete with imports, in the text of a speech today at the Bloomberg Summit in Sydney.

The Aussie fell 0.2 percent to 90.08 U.S. cents after declining to 89.84 cents yesterday, the lowest since March 12.

The pound dropped before Scotland’s Sept. 18 referendum on its independence. Scotland’s nationalists have a 45 percent chance of winning the referendum this week and there’s a risk of a capital flight from the country if that happens, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Sterling slipped 0.3 percent to $1.6188. The U.K. currency weakened 0.2 percent to 79.91 pence per euro.