- Dollar Climbs Spurred by Fed
The dollar extended gains as hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve continued to pile up, while stocks in Europe took a breather after Wednesday’s global rally. Oil and gold both fell.
The greenback headed for the longest winning streak since May and gold continued to retreat as Lael Brainard became the latest Fed official to support the case for an interest-rate hike “soon.” Record-high U.S. crude stockpiles sent oil toward its longest losing streak in two months. Europe’s benchmark stock gauge edged lower after the biggest jump since November on Wednesday.
Investors are coming to grips with a week in which data indicated global growth is firming, stock gauges rose to unprecedented levels and the chances of a March interest-rate hike by the Fed surged. The odds for an increase in two weeks swelled past 65 percent after Brainard, who for months had argued to keep rates lower for longer, joined a steady flow of central bank officials saying the case for lifting borrowing costs has strengthened.
“The data has been really strong and it’s quite hard arguing for waiting,” Trevor Greetham, head of multi-asset at Royal London Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV’s Francine Lacqua. “Interest rates are just too low given the momentum in the economy and the low unemployment rate.”
Data out on Thursday showed euro-area inflation accelerated to 2 percent in February, matching economists’ expectations and providing ammunition to critics of the region’s central bank who want to end stimulus. In the U.S., manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace in three years.