Euro drops against US dollar amid renewed demand for safe havens
LONDON—The euro fell to a two-week low against the U.S. dollar and remained close to a 2015 low against the Swiss franc amid safe-haven demand amid renewed concerns over rising rates and the global recession.
The Swedish krona pared early gains against the euro after briefly jumping on the country’s central bank’s decision to raise its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points as expected.
Growing concerns about the eurozone recession linked to the energy crisis amid the war in Ukraine boosted flows into safe havens against the euro.
The common currency was on course for its worst quarter against the dollar since the end of 2016, on track for a quarterly decline of 6%. As of 10:57 GMT, it was down 0.36% on the day against the dollar at $1.0404.
It also fell to a fresh 7.5-year low against the safe-haven Swiss franc at 0.9964 francs as the Swiss currency continued to benefit from the Swiss National Bank’s surprise rate hike two weeks ago. The euro was up 0.08% against the Swiss franc at 0.9979.
Grim new economic data for the eurozone showed French inflation hit a record high of 6.5% in June, while Greece cut its growth forecast to 3.2% this year from 3.8 %.
Eurozone unemployment fell to a new record low in May as the economy continued to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, although inflation exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to dampen the growth.
The lower-than-expected unemployment rate could bolster European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde’s confidence in raising rates, said Alex Livingstone, head of trading at Titan Asset Management. “However, the ECB will have to be extremely careful in its next move, trying to avoid stifling growth.”
A U.S. recession over the next 12 months is “probably more likely than not,” said Andrew Balls, PIMCO’s global chief investment officer for fixed income.
The ECB is expected to raise interest rates in July for the first time in a decade in a bid to rein in accelerating inflation, although economists are divided on the scale of any hike.
Lagarde and US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, speaking at the ECB’s annual conference in Sintra, Portugal on Wednesday, said it was important to bring inflation down, even if it meant hardship. economic.
The Swedish krona was down 0.3% against the euro at 10.7190 after briefly jumping 0.4% against the euro at 10.6410 following Sweden’s Riksbanken rate hike to 0. .75%.
“Being well-valued and in line with market consensus, the 50 basis point rise has not stirred the waters as far as SEK is concerned,” Danskebank analysts told clients in a note.
The dollar hit a two-week high against a basket of peers, with the index up 0.3% at 105.37.
The dollar also traded just below a fresh 24-year high of 137 Japanese yen hit on Wednesday, as the spread between a hawkish Fed and a dovish Bank of Japan continues to weigh heavily on the yen, which is slumping. last traded at 136.4 yen.
Bitcoin fell back below the token level of $20,000 amid continued market turmoil and was also impacted by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s rejection of a listing proposal for a US-traded fund. cash bitcoin exchange by digital asset manager Grayscale.
By Joice Alves