Dollar stable; ether sparks cryptocurrency rally

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By Rae Wee

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The dollar was mighty on Tuesday while the yen struggled on the weaker side of the 156 level, though trading remained mostly choppy as investors broadly stuck to their views on the expected timing and scope of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts this year. year.

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Cryptocurrencies rallied, led by a rally in ether on growing anticipation of the upcoming approval of spot ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Against the yen, the dollar rose 0.11% to 156.41 in Asia.

The yen has remained in a narrow range over the past few sessions as fears of further intervention by Japanese authorities discouraged traders from pushing the currency to novel lows. However, still significant differences in interest rates between the US and Japan have maintained the attractiveness of the yen as a financing currency.

Elsewhere, the euro strengthened 0.02% to $1.0859, while sterling similarly rose 0.04% to $1.27115.

With little information on the U.S. economic data calendar this week to point to where currencies are moving, investor attention is turning to a slew of Fed speakers for clues on the U.S. interest rate outlook and how quickly the easing cycle could begin. money.

Several officials called for continued policy caution on Monday, even after last week’s data showed a welcome easing in consumer price pressures in April.

“I think all the comments from the various officials will convey more of the same message, and the main message will be that the FOMC will continue to take a patient approach to rate cuts,” said Carol Kong, currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia ( OTC :).

Still, the Fed’s cautious rhetoric has so far done little to significantly change the market valuation of rate cuts, with investors betting on two cuts this year that will begin in September.

Against the basket of currencies, the dollar stabilized at 104.62.

The New Zealand dollar fell 0.09% to $0.61005, while the greenback fell 0.14% to $0.6658.

Minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s May meeting on Tuesday show the central bank decided not to hold interest rates, partly to avoid a policy of “over-tuning”, but assessed that a hike may be necessary if inflation forecasts turn out to be correct. too sanguine.

In the crypto world, ether rose more than 5% to a more than one-month high of $3,720.80, after rising almost 14% in the previous session, the largest daily percentage gain since November 2022.

it broke the level of $70,000, and recently its price was 2% higher and amounted to $70,980.

Analysts say the cryptocurrency market’s recent rally was driven by speculation that U.S. SEC approval of spot ETFs may be imminent, following in the footsteps of bitcoin ETF listings earlier this year.

“It’s absolutely phenomenal,” said Tony Sycamore, market analyst at IG. “I think it has partly to do with that speculation, but also with the core inflation data last week, which increased risk sentiment and obviously brought interest rate cuts back into play.

“After the SEC approval in January and then after the halving, it was missing a little bit of a catalyst in terms of what would be the next key driver for crypto and I think it always came back to the macroeconomics. And the macro has been really good since last Wednesday.”

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