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Dollar stable at start of week; investors eye Fed

Dollar stable at start of week; investors eye Fed

The dollar was almost unchanged Monday from its value last week as investors weighed the prospect of more relief from the Federal Reserve.
Several of the central bank's members, including Chairman Ben Bernanke, have said that they are prepared to start a program of buying bonds to boost the economy. Buying would lower interest rates, a move designed to spark more borrowing and spending by consumers and companies.
Such a program, known as "quantitative easing," also weighs on currencies, however.
In midday trading in New York, the euro traded at $1.3960 from $1.3951 late Friday. The British pound was almost flat at $1.5898 from $1.5985. The dollar fell to 81.15 Japanese yen from 81.43 yen, not far off a 15-year low stuck Friday of 80.90 yen.
The dollar has dropped precipitously since Bernanke first hinted that the Fed was ready to extend itself further in support of the economy on Aug. 27.
Against a group of six major currencies, the dollar has slid 7 percent since late August, last week sinking to its lowest levels against the pound and euro since January. It has also struck a series of record lows versus the Swiss franc and is flirting with parity against the Australian and Canadian dollars.
While the dollar had gained a bit in overnight trading, it was mostly back to Friday's values by midday in New York. A report released Monday pointed at continued weakness in the U.S. economy: output in U.S. factories, utilities and mines dropped 2 percent in September, the first decline since the recession ended in June 2009.
In other midday trading, the dollar gained to 1.0143 Canadian dollars from 1.0133 Canadian dollars, but fell to 0.9555 Swiss francs from 0.9598 Swiss francs.


Updated : 2021-10-21 12:28 GMT+08:00