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The dollar floated at the bottom of its recent range on Tuesday, as softer-than-expected U.S. data and fresh insistence from Federal Reserve officials that policy would stay on hold allayed investor fears about inflation forcing interest rates higher.
The British pound rose, inching back toward the three-month high reached at the end of last week. The Turkish lira edged slightly lower, largely unfazed by the removal of one of the central bank’s four deputy governors.
Investors are heavily short dollars in the belief that low U.S. rates will drive cash abroad as the world recovers from the pandemic. They have become leery of adding to positions after an April leap in inflation cast doubt on the policy outlook, but seemed to find reassurance in data and Fed remarks overnight.
The dollar index softened 0.1% to 89.747 in Asia, adding to its 0.2% overnight loss to take it just above a four-month low. The euro held a 0.3% overnight gain and, at $1.2228, is close to testing last week’s four-month top at $1.2245.
Gold was down on Tuesday morning in Asia, but remained near its highest level in more than four months, as investors digested comments by U.S. Federal Reserve officials that sought to assuage inflation concerns.
Gold futures were down 0.23% to $1,880.15 by 12:08 AM ET (4:08 AM GMT).
The dollar, which usually moves inversely to the safe-haven yellow metal, fell to a four-month low on Tuesday. U.S. Treasury long-dated yields also tumbled to two-week lows.
Fed Governor Lael Brainard, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said a surge in prices, due to bottlenecks and supply shortages as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to fall, would not be surprising. However, they also reiterated that any price gains are likely to be temporary.
Bullard added he expects the inflation rate to be above 2% both in 2021 and 2022.
Asian shares advanced on Tuesday, tracking a rally on Wall Street, while the dollar held near a fourth-month low as inflation worries faded after Federal Reserve officials allayed fears about monetary policy tightening.
In early European trade, pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.27%, while German DAX futures and FTSE futures rose 0.14% and 0.21%, respectively. U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, were up 0.27%.
In Asia, the region’s main regional equity gauges climbed with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 1.3% at a two-week high, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with mild gains.
“Markets were buoyed as data flow didn’t live up to the strong-inflation narrative, and amid repeated guidance from senior central bank figures that the current rise in inflation is temporary,” ANZ analysts wrote in a note.
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