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Tuesday June 12, 2007 - 10:14:52 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-U.S. yields keep dlr on firm footing,kiwi steadies

FOREX-U.S. yields keep dlr on firm footing,kiwi steadies
Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:48 AM ET

(Changes byline, adds quotes, updates prices)

By Toni Vorobyova

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) - The dollar ticked up towards last week's two-month highs versus the euro and hit 3-1/2 month peaks against the low-yielding Swiss franc on Tuesday, bolstered by rising U.S. government bond yields.

The New Zealand dollar steadied around 1.6 percent below last week's 22-year highs, taking a breather after a steep fall on Monday when the Reserve Bank of New Zealand intervened to weaken the currency.

With the focus on yields, sterling rose broadly after Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said UK rates may need to rise again if capacity pressures, pricing intentions and inflation expectations remain elevated. But the pound's gains were capped by slightly softer than expected May inflation data.

In the United States, expectations of a near-term cut in rates have faded, sending bond yields higher. This, coupled with continued concerns about inflationary pressures voiced by Federal Reserve policymakers, has kept the dollar well bid.

"The spread of U.S. rates, relative for example to European interest rate expectations, has widened and that's helped the dollar, which has a very strong correlation with interest rate spreads. That's going to continue if we see hawkish Fed comments this week," said Mitul Kotecha, head of global foreign exchange research at Calyon.

By 0922 GMT, the euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.3342, near a two-month low of $1.3319 touched on Friday. The dollar was flat at 121.69 yen , hovering near the 4-1/2-year high around 122.20 yen hit in January.

It hit a 3-1/2 month high at 1.2414 Swiss francs .

Investors are looking to U.S. inflation data and a host of Fed speakers, including Chairman Ben Bernanke, later this week for further clues on the U.S. rates outlook.

They are also keeping an eye on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields to see if they might re-test last week's peaks , which would likely further boost the dollar.

Sterling was up 0.1 percent at $1.9716 , while the euro fell a quarter of a percent to 67.67 pence , bolstered by comments from BoE's King late on Monday.

"King is adding more detail on MPC thinking. He has been saying over the past month or so that they want to provide greater guidance for the market in terms of what exactly they are looking at," said Mellon Bank head of currency research Ian Gunner. "The style of his presentation was a really hawkish one."

BEWARE RBNZ

The New Zealand dollar was steady at US$0.7510, some way off Friday's peaks of US$0.7638 .

The New Zealand central bank's intervention to sell its currency after the kiwi hit a 22-year high versus the U.S. dollar last week failed to stem a general tide of carry trades. But analysts said there could be more to come from the RBNZ.

Monday's RBNZ selling helped to drive the New Zealand dollar down as much as 2 percent to a low of $0.7461 . The kiwi turned higher on Tuesday, up 0.1 percent $0.7524.

Some analysts said investors should be wary of further moves from the RBNZ to weaken its currency even though it raised rates to 8.0 percent last week, the highest in the industrialised world.

Elsewhere, the Swedish crown slid to one-year lows against the euro , after news of an unexpected fall in core inflation in May dampened expectations of future rate hikes.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

 

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