By Gina Lee
Investing.com – The dollar was up, with the pound was just shy of its Tuesday peak on Thursday morning in Asia, over firming expectations that the Bank of England (BOE) will hike interest rates as soon as November 2021.
Commodity currencies stood near multi-month highs, with strong raw material prices and increasing risk sentiment turning investors away from the safe-haven U.S. currency, which had recently been boosted by expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin asset tapering.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.02% to 93.558 by 12:36 AM ET (4:36 AM GMT).
The USD/JPY pair inched down 0.10% to 114.14.
"It looks almost certain that the BOE will raise interest rates in November, perhaps again in December, as inflation could get out of control otherwise given a severe labor shortage," Daiwa Securities senior strategist Yukio Ishizuki told Reuters.
"And globally we are likely to see rate hikes to curb inflation in many countries, which means the U.S. dollar is standing out less than before, in terms of rate hike expectations."
Across the Atlantic, the Fed is widely expected to announce the beginning of asset tapering at its meeting in November 2021. However, it is not expected to begin interest rate hikes until 2022.
"It's as if the BoE is stealing the spotlight from the Fed as it looks likely to raise rates before the Fed. What could be the game-changer, though, is if the Fed is also jumping on the bandwagon of global rate hikes much sooner than expected," Ryobi Systems president of Financial algotech company Kyosuke Suzuki told Reuters.
Meanwhile, commodity currencies led gains against the dollar after oil prices climbed to their highest levels in many years. The Australian dollar was at a three-and-a-half-month high while its New Zealand counterpart hit a four-month peak.
"Given the massive rise in commodity prices, commodity-linked currencies will enjoy a tailwind," said Teppei Ino, senior currency strategist at MUFG Bank.
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