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Dollar edges higher on geopolitical tensions ahead of the Fed -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – This illustration, taken on January 6, 2020, shows U.S. dollars and Pound bills. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Stefano Rebaudo

(Reuters] – Tuesday’s dollar gain was within reach of its 2-week high. This is because investors purchased safe-haven currencies in the midst of tensions with Russia over Ukraine and waited to see the Federal Reserve’s policy statement.

As a last resort, U.S. forces placed approximately 8500 soldiers on alert in order to have them ready for deployment to Europe in case of emergency. This was in an attempt to comfort jittery NATO partners in light of the Russian military buildup close to Ukraine.

“Much greater exposure of European economies to the crisis does not make the euro a particularly attractive vehicle to ride out the current storm,” ING analysts said.

At 0848 GMT, the euro fell 0.2% to $1.1300. This was just below its low point since Monday Dec. 20, when it touched at midnight.

It was 0.1% lower at 96.02 than its previous high of 96.135 on Monday.

It remained close to its 1-month highs, with the safe-haven Japanese yen gaining 0.3% against the euro and 0.1% towards the dollar.

At 1.0366 the Swiss Franc fell 0.1% against the euro, however it was not far off its recent peak of 1.0298, which was reached in 2015.

Fed may increase its plans for raising rates, and decrease its holdings in U.S. Treasury Bonds and Mortgage-Backed Securities that have ballooned its balance sheet to $8 trillion by Wednesday’s close.

There are mixed opinions among analysts regarding the meeting. Deutsche Bank (DE:). This flagging of a potential hawkish surprise for the months ahead with the Fed possibly raising rates in March, and increasing them up as high as six to seven times this calendar year.

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

According to Commerzbank (DE:), “the markets are likely to remain nervous in the run-up to tomorrow’s meeting, but we do not expect any new insights.”

According to the money market, there is a 85% chance that the Fed will raise its benchmark rate by 25 basis points on March. Three more Fed increases could be made up to 1.0% at year’s end. [IRPR]

The value of ether, which almost doubled since November’s $69,000 mark, fell 2% to $36,089. At $2,377, ether was 2.7% lower.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.