Dollar hits two-weak peak as investors await Fed meeting

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The dollar rose to a two-week peak on Tuesday as tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine drew investors to safe-haven currencies and traders awaited for details from this week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting.

Russia said it was watching with great concern after the United States put 8,500 troops on alert to deploy to Europe in the event of an escalation in the Ukraine crisis.

The rouble pared gains to weaken toward a more than 14-month low versus the dollar after a sell-off on Monday. The rouble was last 0.18% lower versus the greenback at 79.19 per dollar.

Heightened tensions over Ukraine have exposed the euro and Europe, especially regarding energy, but the dollar’s strength has more to do with Fed policy tightening, said Alvise Marino, director of FX strategy at Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN).

“The market was pricing in one hike by the Fed in 2022. Now we’re pricing four. That is ultimately the major driver of the dollar strength we’ve seen the past three months,” he said.

“This accelerated a bit on the back of weakness in the broader equity markets and risk appetites that you’ve seen in particular since last Wednesday,” Marino said.

But with other central banks poised to raise rates too, dollar volatility has abated as the Cboe volatility index for the S&P 500 stocks has doubled so far in 2022, he said.

The dollar index rose 0.287%, with the euro down 0.42% to $1.1275. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.02% versus the greenback at 113.91 per dollar.

The Fed could firm up plans to raise interest rates and shrink its holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, which have swollen its balance sheet past $8 trillion. The Fed’s two-day meeting ends Wednesday.

Analyst views of the meeting are mixed, with Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) flagging a potentially hawkish surprise over the coming months, with as many as six or seven increases this year.

But ING analysts say that if the Fed’s balance sheet reduction does the heavy lifting of policy normalization, that could scale back forecasts for the number of rate hikes.

Money markets are pricing an 85% chance of a Fed rate rise of 25 basis points in March and three more to 1.0% by the end of the year. [IRPR]

The Swiss Franc was down 0.14% against the euro at 1.0368, just off the 1.0298 it hit recently for its strongest since 2015.

CFTC data shows that gross Swiss franc long contracts numbered only 925, down from 4,571 the previous week.

Bitcoin, which has almost halved in value since touching a record high of $69,000 in November, lost about 0.31% to trade around $36,704. Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, was down 0.16% at $2,439.44.


Currency bid prices at 10:50AM (1550 GMT)

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

Previous Change


Dollar index 96.1550 95.8970 +0.28% 0.514% +96.2730 +95.8920

Euro/Dollar $1.1275 $1.1333 -0.50% -0.82% +$1.1328 +$1.1264

Dollar/Yen 113.9750 113.9800 +0.01% -0.98% +114.1500 +113.6700

Euro/Yen 128.52 129.07 -0.43% -1.38% +129.1900 +128.2600

Dollar/Swiss 0.9191 0.9141 +0.56% +0.77% +0.9203 +0.9142

Sterling/Dollar $1.3485 $1.3491 -0.02% -0.27% +$1.3496 +$1.3436

Dollar/Canadian 1.2628 1.2637 -0.07% -0.12% +1.2669 +1.2621

Aussie/Dollar $0.7153 $0.7146 +0.10% -1.60% +$0.7174 +$0.7122

Euro/Swiss 1.0362 1.0349 +0.13% -0.07% +1.0385 +1.0348

Euro/Sterling 0.8361 0.8396 -0.42% -0.46% +0.8402 +0.8360

NZ $0.6678 $0.6700 -0.34% -2.45% +$0.6707 +$0.6661


Dollar/Norway 8.9740 8.9685 +0.18% +1.99% +9.0285 +8.9770

Euro/Norway 10.1216 10.1397 -0.18% +1.09% +10.2045 +10.1197

Dollar/Sweden 9.2838 9.2593 -0.16% +2.95% +9.3205 +9.2510

Euro/Sweden 10.4683 10.4851 -0.16% +2.29% +10.5160 +10.4590

Source: Reuters /

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pound and U.S. dollar bills are seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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