By Sinéad Carew and Karen Brettell
NEWYORK – The dollar edged lower on Monday as Treasury yields were moribund and investors looked ahead to European and U.S. central bank meetings.
Friday’s U.S. jobs data had put pressure on the dollar as investors bet that jobs growth was not strong enough to raise expectations for the U.S. Federal Reserve to tighten its monetary policy.
Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
That move continued on Monday, with Treasury yields remaining subdued after Friday’s drop, reducing demand for the U.S. currency.
“Treasury yields edged slightly higher on the session, though remained well below levels seen before the employment report. This was the likely driver of USD weakness on Monday,” said Ronald Simpson, managing director, global currency analysis at Action Economics.
The dollar index was down 0.21% at 89.946 while the euro gained 0.23% to $1.2194. The dollar also fell 0.23% to 109.26 Japanese yen.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were last at 1.569%. They fell to 1.560%, from 1.628%, on Friday.
“At this point it looks like the market really wants to be short dollars. To us it suggests there’s a risk chasing this move. It’s a crowded position. You’ve already got a sizeable chunk of the market that’s net short U.S. dollars so if feels like we need a shakeout of those positions,” said Bipan Rai, North America head of FX strategy at CIBC Capital Markets.
While Rai said there was “some risk the dollar will rally” he noted that investors are waiting for Federal Reserve’s meeting next week.
Market participants will also be looking at U.S. inflation data and the European Central Bank meeting, both on Thursday.
Dovish rhetoric from ECB policymakers suggests the bank is in no hurry to slow the pace of buying under the 1.85 trillion euro ($2.24 trillion) Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP).
Speculators decreased their net short dollar positions in the latest week, according to calculations by Reuters and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
Currency investors seemed to shrug off news that the United States, Britain and other rich nations reached a deal on Saturday to squeeze more money out of multinational companies such as Amazon and Google and reduce their incentive to shift profits to low-tax offshore havens.
“It was expected they’d come to some kind of agreement,” said CIBC’s Rai, but he said investors were likely wary of making bets as “The road is long and has lots of risks.”
The Australian dollar, which is seen as a proxy for risk appetite, was up 0.22% versus the U.S. dollar at 0.776.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin fell 0.83% to $35,507, while ether dipped 0.61% to $2,693.