Dollar strengthens against major peers on Fed talk

By AFP   March 25, 2016 | 07:15 pm PT
Dollar strengthens against major peers on Fed talk
The dollar strengthened against its major peers on Thursday as fresh signs emerged that the US Federal Reserve could raise key interest rates as early as next month.

Recent statements by several Fed members have boosted expectations the bank may start to take a more bullish approach than signalled last week, when it held interest rates steady.

"You get another strong jobs report, it looks like labour markets are improving, you could probably make a case for moving in April," said James Bullard, president of the St Louis Fed, according to Bloomberg News.

Bullard's remarks late on Wednesday came days after the chiefs of the San Francisco and Atlanta Fed said recent economic data may justify additional policy tightening by the US central bank.

On Thursday, the greenback rose to 112.75 yen from 112.43 yen Wednesday in New York, while the euro dropped to $1.1176 from $1.1183.

The single currency was trading higher against the yen, changing hands at 126.01 yen against 125.72 yen in US trade.

The dollar had eased last week after the Fed kept rates on hold.

Fed chair Janet Yellen cited worries about the impact on the US economy of recent global market turmoil, plunging crude prices and slowing growth in China -- a key driver of the worldwide economy.

A fresh drop in oil prices added to the pressure on emerging market and commodity-linked units on Thursday.

"Markets (are) not happy with the US dollar," Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG trading group in Melbourne, said in a commentary.

"The oil price and equity markets are teetering on the verge of a much larger pullback, as hawkish Fed officials have lifted the US dollar this week."

The oil-linked Malaysian ringgit slumped 0.83 percent against the greenback, Indonesia's rupiah was 0.56 percent down and the South Korean won fell 0.43 percent.

The Singapore and Taiwan dollars and the Thai baht also dropped against the US currency.

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