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Dollar Higher; Risk Sentiment Slips as Central Banks Tighten Policy By

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    By Peter Nurse – The U.S. dollar rose in early European trade Wednesday with risk sentiment on the wane as central banks tighten monetary policy, likely weighing on global economic growth.

    At 3:05 AM ET (0705 GMT), the , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.2% higher at 102.562.

    Central banks around the globe have started to respond to soaring inflation by tightening monetary policy, which had been very loose in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Earlier Wednesday, raised the key for a second straight month by 50 basis points to 4.90%, which follows on from a similar move by the on Tuesday.

    The U.S. is expected to raise its rate by 50 basis points next week and again in July, while the meets on Thursday and is expected to lay the groundwork for an interest rate rise next month.

    This has had an impact on the global economic outlook, with the World Bank reducing its estimate for global growth this year to 2.9% from a January prediction of 4.1%, citing soaring commodity prices, supply disruptions, and moves by central banks to hike interest rates. 

    The obvious exception is the Bank of Japan which has given no indication of giving up ultra-easy monetary policies, with BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda recently reiterating firmly that no tightening plans are under discussion.

    As a result, rose 0.5% to 133.24, climbing to a fresh 20-year high, while the yen also slipped to a seven-year low against the euro.

    “Markets are seriously testing Japanese authorities’ determination to act in support of the currency, and mere verbal intervention may not prove enough this time,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

    Elsewhere, fell 0.1% to 1.0687 after rose just 0.7% in April, below the 1.0% growth expected. This adds further evidence, after data released on Tuesday showed fell 2.7% in the same month, to the notion that the Eurozone’s largest economy could suffer a quarter of economic contraction.

    fell 0.1% to 1.2571 after a period of volatile trading amid political turmoil after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of no confidence.

    “We think markets are overpricing the impact of recent political noise on the U.K. economy and we expect volatility in the pound to decrease over the coming days, with the focus potentially shifting back to other drivers such as the Bank of England’s policy or a slowing economic outlook,” added ING.

    The risk-sensitive fell 0.4% to 0.7199 in the wake of Tuesday’s hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia, fell 0.5% to 0.6456, while inched up to 6.6726.

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