By Kevin Buckland
TOKYO (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar clung to small gains from the start of the week on Tuesday as caution reigned in currency markets ahead of major central bank meetings, headlined by a two-day Federal Reserve gathering beginning later in the global day.
The greenback hovered just off its highest since June versus the yen and cemented a position around $1.19 per euro in muted trading.
The Bank of Japan and Bank of England are also set to meet this week.
Bitcoin was back around $55,000 after tumbling from the weekend’s all-time high near $62,000.
The firm tone for the dollar came despite a retreat in U.S. benchmark yields from the highest levels in more than a year ahead of the Fed meeting.
Policymakers are not likely to detour from monetary policy despite an expected forecast of rapid economic growth in 2021 in the wake of an accelerating COVID-19 vaccine rollout and a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package heading to taxpayers and others.
A particular focus will be on any comments about the run-up in yields, which have risen on bets faster growth and inflation will prompt the central bankers to move faster than they have so far signalled in normalising policy.
“Markets (are) essentially marking time ahead of the FOMC meeting,” which is “keeping investors a little bit cautious,” National Australia Bank (OTC:NABZY) foreign-exchange strategist Rodrigo Catril wrote in a client note.
“There is a lot of focus on whether the new forecasts and dots plot will vindicate the current lift in Fed hike expectations.”
The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, which reached 1.6420% at the end of last week, was last at 1.6073%.
The dollar was little changed at 109.170 yen early in Tuesday’s Asian session, after rising as high as 109.365 overnight. The BOJ begins a two-day policy meeting on Thursday, along with an extensive policy review.
The euro was largely flat at $1.19255, languishing below $1.20 since March 5. Europe’s vaccine rollout has been hampered by the suspension of AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) PLC shots in Germany, France and other nations amid concerns about possible serious side effects.
Bitcoin, meanwhile, slipped further to around $54,782 on Tuesday, following its jump to a record $61,781.83 on Saturday.