On Monday the dollar advanced from a two-month low against the euro before U.S. reports this week forecast to show stronger growth and increasing consumer confidence.
The euro slid versus the dollar on speculation its 5.5 percent gain over the past two weeks may be hard to sustain as bets against the 17-nation currency were reversed. The pound fell before data that may show the U.K.’s growth slowed in the fourth quarter.
Gross domestic product climbed at a 3.5 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, compared with a 2.6 percent rate in the prior three months, a separate survey showed before the Commerce Department’s report on Jan. 28.
On Tuesday the dollar dropped against the yen as Treasury yields fell on expectations President Barack Obama will propose a five-year freeze on non-security spending.
Obama will outline the freeze in U.S. spending in the State of the Union address tonight in Washington, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Sterling tumbled on Tuesday as a surprise contraction in fourth-quarter UK GDP raised fears over a double-dip recession and doused expectations that the Bank of England would raise interest rates to fight inflationary pressures in the British economy.
Figures showed the UK economy shrunk 0.5% in the last three months of 2010, far worse than expectations for growth of 0.5%.
On Wednesday the dollar touched a two-month low against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners on expectations that the Federal Reserve will reiterate the need to buy $600 billion in Treasuries to support the economy.
Sterling climbed from the lowest level against the dollar in almost two weeks as the Bank of England said two policy makers out of nine voted this month for an interest-rate increase. The euro rose earlier versus the dollar on speculation the currency region’s debt crisis will be contained and after a report showing a gauge of German inflation accelerated.
FOMC leaves all policies unch, affirms QE2 for $600b Tsys thru Q2 subject to review - to adjust as needed. Keeps extended pd, keeps FF target 0 to 1/4%. Vote 11-0 with no dissents. Repeats progress towards dual mandates 'disappointingly slow.' FOMC says econ recov is continuing but at insufficient pace to bring about 'significant' improvement in labor mkt conditions. Employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Hsehold spending picked up late 2010 but remains constrained by high unemp, tight credit etc. Although commodity prices have risen, long-term infln expectations remain stable, underlying infln measures trending downward.
On Thursday the yen slid against all of its major counterparts after Japan’s credit rating was lowered for the first time in nine years by Standard & Poor’s.
Japan’s credit rating was lowered to AA- as persistent deflation and political gridlock undermined efforts to reduce a 943 trillion yen ($11 trillion) debt burden.
Om Friday the dollar and Swiss franc advanced against the euro as a day of clashes in Egypt between police and protesters spurred demand for the safety of the currencies.