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© Reuters

Dollar Edges Higher; Commodity Currencies Limit Gains By Investing.com

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© Reuters

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – The dollar edged higher in early European trade Tuesday, but gains were capped by the strength of commodity currencies on the back of rises in the prices of oil and base metals.

At 2:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was up 0.1% at 90.245, after dipping as low as 90.130 for the first time since Feb. 26. 

traded 0.1% higher at 1.2140, rose 0.1% to 108.91, while was largely flat at 1.4116, close to its strongest since Feb. 25 as Britain reopens its economy.

Looking at the main commodity currencies, traded at 1.2096, close to its weakest in more than three years. gained 0.1% to 0.7833, near an 11-week high, while was quoted at 0.7269, which is near its strongest level since late February.

“The greatest takeaway from Friday’s soft U.S. for the FX market was that it bought more time for the Fed to be patient in withdrawing loose policy,” said analysts at ING, in a note. “This comes at a time when commodity prices continue to surge (iron ore up another 9% overnight) and the market’s conviction on higher prices is growing.”

Investors now await the latest from the U.S. on Wednesday, which are expected to show a sharp rise as the prices for commodities including , and steel soar, as well as a series of Treasury auctions during the week. 

“Assuming these can pass without doing too much damage to the U.S. bond market, the dollar should continue its run lower through May,” ING added.

That said, many investors expect commodities demand to surge as coronavirus vaccinations allow more countries to resume normal economic activity, increasing inflationary pressures as supply constraints suggest prices could remain elevated for an extended period.

Elsewhere, rose 0.2% to 6.4304, after China’s consumer inflation data just missed expectations, with contracting 0.3% month-on-month in April but growing 0.9% year-on-year. Factory prices, on the other hand, rose at the fastest rate in three and a half years in April, with growing a better-than-expected 6.8% year-on-year.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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© Reuters.

Dollar Up, but Increasing Commodity Prices Limit Gains By Investing.com

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© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – The dollar was up on Tuesday morning in Asia, but gains were capped by expectations that already-surging commodity prices will rise further.

The that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.06% to 90.237 by 11:53 PM ET (3:53 AM GMT).

The pair inched up 0.10% to 108.89. Data released earlier in the day in Japan said that March’s household spending grew at a better-than-expected 7.2% . Spending grew 6.2% , the biggest gain since September 2019 and the first growth in four months.

The pair inched up 0.03% to 0.7833 ahead of Australia’s federal budget, due to be handed down later in the day. The pair edged down 0.14% to 0.7264.

The pair inched up 0.18% to 6.4270. China’s just missed expectations, contracting 0.3% but grew 0.9% . The grew a better-than-expected 6.8% year-on-year.

The pair inched down 0.01% to 1.4118, passing the 1.4-mark.

Investors now await inflation data from the U.S., including , that will be released on Wednesday. The data will gauge the level of inflationary pressure and could push Treasury yields up, potentially giving the greenback a boost, according to some investors.

Prices for commodities including , and steel are expected to rise further, increasing concerns about runaway inflation. Treasuries and the dollar have alternated between gains and losses as investor expectations on when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start moving away from its current dovish policy vacillate.

A slew of Fed officials will also speak throughout the week, including Governor Lael Brainard later in the day. Across the Atlantic, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey will speak on Wednesday.

“Right now, the easiest reflation trade is to watch commodity prices and buy commodity currencies… the markets have doubts about the Fed’s benign view of inflation, but uncertainty about policy keeps some currency pairs in a tight range,” Daiwa Securities foreign exchange strategist Yukio Ishizuki told Reuters.

Against other currencies, the dollar was trading at C$1.2097 against its Canadian counterpart, the greenback’s weakest level in more than three years. It was also near a two-week low against the Mexican peso.

Demand for commodities is expected to continue growing as COVID-19 vaccinations improve the economic outlook in more countries. Additionally, supply constraints for some commodities could mean inflated prices in the short term, giving commodity-linked currencies a further boost.

In cryptocurrencies, ether traded at $3,906, slightly down from its recent record high of $4,200. also fell slightly to $55,578.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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Aussie and kiwi forecasts upgraded, but far behind markets: Reuters poll

Commodity currencies hold advantage as dollar waits for inflation and Fed By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A picture illustration shows U.S. 100-dollar bank notes taken in Tokyo August 2, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

By Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar nursed losses against the currencies of major commodity exporters which enjoyed support from expectations for further gains in the price of oil, , steel, and other metals.

Traders are keenly awaiting the release of U.S. consumer price data on Wednesday to measure whether inflationary pressure is building, which could push Treasury yields higher and slow the dollar’s fall, some traders say.

Treasuries and the dollar have swung back and forth as investors adjust their expectations for when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start tapering bond purchases and raising interest rates as the U.S. economy gains momentum.

A host of Fed speakers this week are likely to leave investors with plenty to consider as they try to forecast how policymakers will react to receding risks posed by the coronavirus in some major economies.

“Right now the easiest reflation trade is to watch commodity prices and buy commodity currencies,” said Yukio Ishizuki, foreign exchange strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“The markets have doubts about the Fed’s benign view of inflation, but uncertainty about policy keeps some currency pairs in a tight range.”

Against the Canadian dollar, the U.S. dollar traded at C$1.2097, close to its weakest in more than three years.

The Australian dollar edged up to $0.7836, near an 11-week high. Across the Tasman Sea, the New Zealand dollar was quoted at $0.7267, which is near its strongest level since late February.

The greenback was also near a two-week low against the Mexican peso.

Many investors expect commodities demand to surge as coronavirus vaccinations allow more countries to resume normal economic activity.

In addition, supply constraints for some commodities suggest that prices could remain elevated for an extended period, which has made some commodity currencies the best performers against the dollar so far this year.

Investors are also focused on how the U.S. labour market will affect inflation in the world’s largest economy, but a disappointing nonfarm payrolls report last week has left the dollar mixed against other currencies.

The British pound bought $1.4130, close to its strongest since Feb. 25 as investors cheered Britain’s progress in reopening its economy.

The euro edged up to $1.2137.

Against the yen, the dollar was flat at 108.87.

In the cryptocurrency market, ether was quoted at $3,906, down slightly from a record high of $4,200. Bigger rival bitcoin fell slightly to $55,578.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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Yuan Rallies to Highest Since 2018 as Growth Divergence Extends By Bloomberg

Yuan Rallies to Highest Since 2018 as Growth Divergence Extends By Bloomberg

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© Bloomberg. The currency symbol for the Chinese yuan is displayed at a currency exchange store in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015. The yuan sank for a second day, spurring China’s central bank to intervene as the biggest rout since 1994 tested the government’s resolve to give market forces more sway in determining the exchange rate. Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — China’s advanced to its strongest level since 2018 amid signs that the nation’s economy is pulling ahead of others.

The currency rose as much as 0.2% to 6.4403 a dollar, the strongest since June 2018, after breaching its previous year-to-date high of 6.4245 touched in January. The move came after the greenback slid on weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data on Friday.

China’s currency began a rebound in April, along with other emerging market peers, as Treasury yields decline. The yuan is the second-best performing currency in Asia this year as its economy rebounded quicker than others from the pandemic and the nation’s monetary policy starts to show signs of normalization.

“The yuan will continue to strengthen, as apart from a weaker dollar, the Chinese currency is also being supported by capital inflows and large trade surplus,” said Tommy Ong, managing director for treasury and markets at DBS Hong Kong Ltd. “The PBOC will likely use the fixing to slow the gains but it won’t use direct intervention.”

The yuan also strengthened against a basket of its trading partners’ currencies. The CFETS Index, which tracks the yuan versus 24 peers, is close to the highest level since 2018.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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© Reuters.

Peru

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People hold a sign reading “Communism never” during a protest, led by former presidential candidate Rafael Lopez Aliaga (not pictured), against socialist candidate Pedro Castillo, who will face right-wing opponent Keiko Fujimori in a run-off v

2/3

By Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s sol currency on Monday posted its biggest daily gain in just over five years after opinion polls showed the gap closing between socialist front-runner Pedro Castillo and the right-wing Keiko Fujimori ahead of June 6 presidential elections.

Two new polls released Sunday and Monday showed Castillo, a little known schoolteacher from rural Peru, had lost almost his entire lead over Fujimori, a three-time contender for the presidency.

The sol closed up 2.36%, its strongest daily performance since April 2016.

Castillo’s surprise appearance on the ballot had rattled many investors and miners, cautious of a sharp left turn in the world’s No. 2 producer, which will be electing its fifth president in the past five years after a constitutional crisis last year.

The recent polls appeared to assuage some of their concerns. A survey from Peru’s Company for Market Studies and Public Opinion (CPI) found Castillo’s lead had shrunk to just 2.2 percentage points, compared to a 12.4 percentage point gap in the group’s previous poll. The poll of 1,600 people was conducted between May 6-8, with a margin of error of 2.5%.

Another poll, published Sunday by the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP) put the gap between the two candidates at 6.2 percentage points, versus 20 points two weeks ago.

On Friday, the international Datum reported that the advantage was five percentage points.

Castillo, who has pledged to redraft Peru’s constitution to give the state a more dominant role in the economy, has recently moved to moderate his stance in some areas to help win over centrist and center-left voters.

But Fujimori, the scion of a powerful political family whose father is an ex-president now in prison for corruption and human rights abuses, has ratcheted up her criticism of Castillo as a left-wing extremist who could jeopardize the Andean’s nation’s economic progress in recent years.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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© Reuters.  The Sinking Dollar Won’t Help Emerging Currencies, Barclays Says

Dollar Weakness; Payrolls Could Delay Fed Tapering By Investing.com

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© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – The dollar edged lower in early European trade Monday, continuing its weakness after falling to a two-month low on the back of Friday’s disappointing U.S.  jobs report, which pointed to the ultra-low interest rate policy staying in place for some time. 

At 2:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was down less than 0.1% at 90.183, after dipping as low as 90.130 for the first time since Feb. 26. 

traded largely flat at 1.2158, earlier touching the highest since Feb. 26 at 1.2177, rose 0.2% to 108.84, while the risk-sensitive rose 0.2% to 0.7857.

Friday’s U.S. employment report for April came in well below expectations, with only rising by 266,000 during the month, after robust data from the ADP and weekly numbers had lifted expectations to a one million-plus rise.

The sharply below-consensus release “likely relieved some pressure from the Fed to shift to a less dovish rhetoric. At the same time, the data-miss was not enough to severely dent the underlying recovery story, leaving the global risk sentiment broadly supported,” said analysts at ING, in a research note.

Attention will now switch this week to inflation data, although the mantra from Fed policymakers that the increase is due to temporary factors will carry extra weight following the jobs data.

Wednesday sees the release of consumer price index figures for April, with the seen rising 3.6% on the year, a sharp rise from March’s 2.6%, and considerably above the 2% level the Fed usually seeks to limit price rises to.

Several U.S. Federal Reserve officials, including Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and U.S. Fed Governor Lael Brainard on Tuesday, will also speak in the course of the week.

Elsewhere, rose 0.7% to 1.4066, climbing to its highest level since late February, after the Scottish National Party failed to win an after Thursday’s vote for the Scottish parliament.

The SNP is pressing for another referendum on Scottish independence, but it fell one seat short of an outright majority, likely delaying any vote, even if one is granted, by years. 

The U.K. government has so far refused to grant Scotland permission to have a repeat of the 2014 referendum.

Also, fell 0.1% to 6.4261, falling to its lowest level since 2018 in the wake of the U.S. payrolls release and ahead of Chinese due on Tuesday.

 

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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© Reuters.  Yen Primed for Advance Toward 100 as Fed Stimulus Saps Dollar

Dollar Up as U.S. Employment Data Disappoints, Focus Turns to Inflation By Investing.com

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© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – The dollar was up on Monday morning in Asia but remained near a more than two-month low. Investors continue to assess the previous week’s disappointing U.S. employment report and its implications for monetary policy ahead of inflation data due later in the week.

The that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.05% to 90.260 by 12:31 AM ET (4:31 AM GMT).

The pair was up 0.24% to 108.87.

The pair inched up 0.04% to 0.7845. Australian data released earlier in the day said that the rose to a better-than-expected 26 in April. However, grew 1.3% month-on-month in March, slightly below expectations.

The pair inched up 0.01% to 0.7274.

The pair inched down 0.01% to 6.4301, ahead of Chinese inflation data due on Tuesday.

The pair was up 0.35% to 1.4021. The pound continued above the 1.4-mark even after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that another referendum on independence was inevitable after her Scottish National Party won a resounding victory in the previous week’s elections.

Friday’s U.S. employment report for April disappointed, with only rising by 266,000 during the month, well below the 978,000-rise in forecasts prepared by Investing.com. The unemployment rate also rose to a higher-than-expected 6.1% in April.

With expectations that the economic recovery from COVID-19 will lead to runaway inflation all but gone, investors now await inflation data, including the due later in the week.

Several U.S. Federal Reserve officials, including Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and U.S. Fed Governor Lael Brainard on Tuesday, will also speak throughout the week.

Some investors remained pessimistic as the dollar index dipped as low as 90.128 for the first time since Feb. 26.

“The dollar’s choppy downtrend can continue this week,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:) strategist Kim Mundy wrote in a client note.

The unexpected slow recovery in the U.S. labor market reinforces the FOMC’s patient approach to monetary policy,” while “the improving global economic outlook is a medium-term weight on the dollar,” the note added, predicting a break above $1.22 for the euro.

The euro edged up 0.1% to $1.2172, earlier touching the highest since Feb. 26 at $1.2177.

On the cryptocurrencies front, traded near the $0.56 mark. The virtual currency lost more than a third of its price on Sunday after Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:) CEO Elon Musk called it a “hustle” when he guest-hosted the “Saturday Night Live” TV show.

“Musk is probably happy to jump on the joke of what is a meme(coin), but investors are probably feeling real pain now,” Diginex head of Exchange Sales Justin d’Anethan told Reuters.

“The supply is essentially unlimited for dogecoin, and so unsustainable long-term. It’s a question of who will sell first and who will be left holding the bags,” he added.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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Latest U.S. Jobless Claims Report Marred by Inaccuracy, Quirk

Dollar licks wounds after payrolls shock, focus turns to inflation By Reuters

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© Reuters. A U.S. one dollar banknote is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken May 7, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar languished near a more than two-month low versus major peers on Monday as investors continued to assess the implications for monetary policy of a disappointing U.S. employment report, ahead of inflation data this week.

The U.S. created only a little more than a quarter of the jobs that economists had forecast last month and the unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked higher, pouring cold water on speculation the pandemic recovery could spark faster inflation that the Federal Reserve anticipates.

The , which measures the greenback against six rivals, stood at 90.178, after dipping as low as 90.128 for the first time since Feb. 26.

Notably, the British pound rallied 0.3%, rising as high as $1.4036 for the first time since Feb. 25, despite Scotland’s leader saying another referendum on independence was inevitable after her party’s resounding election victory.

“The USD’s choppy downtrend can continue this week,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:) strategist Kim Mundy wrote in a client note, predicting a break above $1.22 for the euro.

“The unexpected slow recovery in the U.S. labour market reinforces the FOMC’s patient approach to monetary policy,” while “the improving global economic outlook is a medium-term weight on the USD.”

The euro rose 0.1% to $1.2172, earlier touching the highest since Feb. 26 at $1.2177.

The dollar was little changed at 108.57 yen, not far from its lowest since April 27.

The dollar ticked 0.1% higher to $0.78535, close to Friday’s more-than-two-month high of 0.7863.

Canada’s rallied to a fresh 3-1/2-year high of $1.2111.

In cryptocurrencies, ether changed hands at $3,918.78 after reaching a record $3,985 on Sunday. The second-biggest digital token has rallied 41% so far this month.

Bigger rival bitcoin remained stuck around $58,000, consolidating after retreating as low as $47,004.20 on April 25 following its surge to a record $64,895.22 in the middle of that month.

Meanwhile, no. 4 virtual currency dogecoin languished around $0.56 after losing more than a third of its price on Sunday, when Elon Musk called the token a “hustle” during his guest-host spot on the “Saturday Night Live” comedy sketch TV show.

“Musk is probably happy to jump on the joke of what is a meme(coin), but investors are probably feeling real pain now,” said Justin d’Anethan, Hong Kong-based head of Exchange Sales at Diginex, a digital asset exchange.

“The supply is essentially unlimited (for dogecoin), and so unsustainable long-term. It’s a question of who will sell first and who will be left holding the bags.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



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Dollar rally runs out of puff as yields ease By Reuters

Brazil real hits four-month high as global banks turn hawkish on interest rates By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Brazilian Real and U.S. dollar notes are pictured at a currency exchange office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in this September 10, 2015 photo illustration. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s real surged on Thursday to close at its highest in almost four months against the dollar, a day after the central bank struck a hawkish tone in its statement that accompanied a second aggressive hike in borrowing costs.

A clutch of major global banks published notes revising their outlook on Brazil’s benchmark Selic rate, which they say is now likely to rise more quickly or more aggressively.

The real rose around 1.5% on Thursday to 5.2776 per dollar, its strongest close since Jan. 14. Having traded as weak as 5.87 in March, the real is now down only 1.6% year-to-date.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) and BNP Paribas (OTC:) raised their 2021 year-end calls outright. Citi, Bank of America (NYSE:) and Rabobank kept their forecasts but now anticipate a faster pace of tightening. Barclays (LON:) said it could revise its outlook next week.

The 75-basis-point rise in the Selic rate to 3.50% was flagged by policymakers and predicted by all 29 economists in a Reuters poll.

The tone of the accompanying statement was hawkish, notably that there was no firm commitment to a ‘partial normalization’ process and future moves “could be adjusted to assure the achievement of the inflation target.”

“We now think the (central bank) will have to go for a full normalization and hike rates to 6.5% in 2021 versus our earlier forecast of 5.0%,” BNP Paribas economist Gustavo Arruda and his team wrote in a note on Thursday.

“Taking into account the more challenging inflation environment, we now expect two hikes of 75bp in June and August and three hikes of 50bp in September, October and December,” they said.

Economists at Morgan Stanley raised their 2021 Selic forecast to 5.50% from 5.00% and the 2022 forecast to 6.50% from 6.00%.

Mauricio Une at Rabobank maintained his forecast for a further 200 basis points of tightening this year, but now expects that to be delivered over three policy meetings instead of four.

Citi’s Leonardo Porto said he will wait for more hard economic data and the policy meeting minutes for a clearer idea on how long Copom will stick with its ‘partial normalization process’, but “we recognize the increasing risks of a higher interest rate.”

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© Reuters.  Virus Lockdowns Confront Billions Working in the Shadow Economy

Scotland

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© Reuters. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrives at Glasgow counting centre in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain May 7, 2021. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS

By Russell Cheyne

GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) – The Scottish National Party (SNP), which has vowed to hold an independence referendum that could tear the United Kingdom apart should it be returned to power, will find out on Saturday if it has won a majority in Scotland’s parliament.

The SNP says it will seek to hold a new vote on secession if a pro-independence majority is returned to the devolved 129-seat parliament. This would set up a clash with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he will refuse any such vote because Scots backed staying in the United Kingdom in 2014.

Initial results showed the SNP was on course to win a fourth consecutive term in office having triumphed in 38 of the 47 seats declared so far, winning three key battlegrounds in the process.

But in some areas there was an increase in support for opposition pro-union parties, indicating the final outcome would be very close. The final results will be announced later on Saturday.

The electoral system – which allocates some seats on a proportional representation system which helps smaller parties – might see the SNP fail to win an outright majority, something First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the party leader, acknowledged.

“It would be good to do. But I have never taken that for granted and it has always been on a knife edge,” she said.

There is likely to still be a pro-independence majority even if the SNP fall short because of the Green Party, which also supports secession. But supporters of the union argue that without an SNP majority, there is no mandate for a referendum.

The outcome of the election could therefore ultimately put Scotland on the path towards breaking its 314-year union with England and Wales. Scottish politics has been diverging from other parts of the United Kingdom, but Scots remain divided over the prospect of another polarising independence vote.

“IRRESPONSIBLE AND RECKLESS”

Britain’s exit from the European Union – a move opposed by a majority of Scots – as well as a perception that Sturgeon’s government has handled the COVID-19 crisis well and antipathy to Johnson’s Conservative government in London, have all bolstered support for Scotland’s independence movement.

Scots voted by 55%-45% in 2014 to remain part of the United Kingdom, and polls suggest the outcome of a second referendum would be too tight to call.

Johnson, who the British government says must approve any vote for it to be legal, has made clear no such approval would be forthcoming.

“I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless,” he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Sturgeon herself has ruled out holding any vote until after the COVID-19 pandemic, with the SNP indicating it would be held by the end of 2023. She argues there would be no moral or democratic justification for Johnson to refuse a referendum if the Scottish parliament passes a bill to hold a vote.

“We’ve said that we will take forward the legislation … to have a legal referendum,” Deputy First Minister John Swinney told BBC TV.

“We already have put in place some of the legislative arrangements for that process, and we will embark on such an agenda should there be a majority for such a proposition in the Scottish parliament.”

With Sturgeon ruling out holding an illegal or wildcat plebiscite, it is likely that the issue will ultimately be decided by Britain’s top court.



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