The single currency rallied to 1.5797 against the greenback after German business confidence unexpectedly rose, bolstering speculation the European Central Bank will not cut interest rates.
The Munich-based Ifo institute said its index rose to 103.5, versus the expectation of a decline to 102.0, from 102.4 in April. European Central Bank Governing Council member Christian Noyer said foreign exchange swings has been so rapid and large that they posed risks for the world economy. Euro retreated briefly on Noyer’s comments and then rose again due to renewed dollar’s weakness across the board as the FOMC’s minutes showed that policy makers lowered their estimate of U.S. gross domestic product growth to a range of 0.3% to 1.2% this year, from the 1.3% to 2% they predicted in January. The U.S. jobless- rate forecast increased to a range of 5.2% to 5.7%, from 5% to 5.3%. Interest-rate futures on Wednesday showed a 52% chance the Fed will raise its target rate for overnight lending between banks to at least 2.25% by year-end.
Minutes from this month's Bank of England meeting showed its Monetary Policy Committee voted 8-1 to leave the main rate at 5% as consumer-price growth held above the 2% target for a seventh month, signaling policy makers remain reluctant to lower interest rates to stimulate growth. The British pound fell briefly to 1.9613 and then rallied to 1.9738 in late U.S. session on dollar’s broad-based weakness.
Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar rose against U.S. currency to 0.9655 and 0.7810 respectively as commodity prices climbed. The crude oil price surged by more than 3% on Wednesday to a fresh record high of $134.15 per a barrel and gold rose to one-month high of 931.85. The greenback fell against the Canadian dollar to 0.9819 after the release of higher-than-expected Canada’s CPI data.
Thursday will see the release of Japan’s all industry index, trade balance, export and import, U.K. retail sales, eurozone industrial orders, U.K. CBI industry trend, U.S. jobless claims and house price index.