Dollar slips amid uncertainty of gradual rate hike; Euro gains

Posted March 22, 2017

As the U.S. dollar weakened, Gold prices hit a two and a half week high to $1,235.50 per ounce up by $5.30 after the Federal Reserve's announcement to officially raise interest rates.

Group of 20 financial leaders at a meeting expressed renewed concern about the United States' global trade relations and by implication the Trump administration's concern over the strong USA dollar.

The US dollar was on the defensive in early Asian trading on Tuesday, after Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans reinforced the perception that the US central bank won't accelerate the pace of its interest rate hikes. The tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq Composite index briefly bucked the trend and hit a record intraday peak of 5,915.120 before edging lower.

The Singapore dollar strengthened against the United States dollar on Monday (March 20), going below the US$1 = S$1.40 mark for the first time in more than four months.

"U.S. stocks valuations are getting really expensive, so I expect the market to be capped for now". With inflation on the rise some MPC members believe that a rate hike would be needed sooner than later, but how many MPC members will join Ms. Forbes remains uncertain.

"Gold is testing higher ground due to dovish tone from Fed on interest rate increase for the rest of the year, coupled with short-term covering speculations". It last stood at 2.479 percent.

The ringgit, meanwhile, was traded lower against other major currencies.

With the French and German federal elections approaching, gains by populist anti-Euro parties could send investors flocking once more to gold.

In France, centrist Emmanuel Macron solidified his status as front-runner in the presidential election in a televised debate on Monday.

"I think markets are focused on comments made by FOMC members to get a better idea of the path forward for policy and how that will translate for the dollar", said Sireen Harajli, FX strategist at Mizuho in NY.

The dollar index of its value against a basket of six currencies hit a six-week low of 100.02 on Monday before recovering most of its losses.

The Australian dollar rose 0.2% higher at $0.7719 against the U.S. dollar last week which is seen to be the highest level since last November. "But the currency has strengthened since the Fed tightened policy and is edging further away from where we think the RBA views the sweet spot" in the low 70s.

The South African rand has gained 4.0 percent since then to a near 1-1/2-year high while the Brazilian real rose 3.2 percent.