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Dollar stands tall as Covid stalks kiwi

The dollar hit a nine-month high against the euro. The euro touched $1.1702 early in the Asia session, its lowest since November 2020, before recovering slightly to $1.1718. The kiwi, that was heavily sold, fell further to also make a nine-month trough at $0.6868 after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand held off on raising rates amid a snap lockdown in the country over seven COVID-19 cases. However, it soon recovered, climbing to $0.6933 because hikes were still on the horizon. Sterling and the commodity-exposed Australian and Canadian dollars all hovered near recent lows against the dollar as the market mood remained cautious.

Moh Siong Sim, currency analyst at Bank of Singapore said that the dollar is being supported by the nervous risk environment. He added that the markets are paying attention to the Delta variant and the area which is of most concern seems to be China. There’s a stock market that’s taken a bit of a beating recently, there’s regulatory risk and now there are COVID outbreaks in China. China’s markets have been roiled by a wide front of reform and regulation. At the same time, the highly-contagious Delta variant has found a foothold in formerly COVID-free New Zealand.

Jason Wong, senior market strategist at BNZ in Wellington said that the Reserve Bank was ready to pull the trigger, COVID comes along 24 hours earlier and so they’ve just pulled back on that. The risk-averse mood that had knocked sterling to a three-week low on the dollar persisted and held the British currency near that level at $1.3754. The Japanese yen eased on the dollar overnight, but rose against other currencies and touched a 5-1/2-month high of 128.21 per euro in the Asia session. The commodity-exposed Canadian dollar recovered slightly from an overnight one-month low.

The trade-exposed South Korean won bounced from an 11-month low it touched after a government official said that he was closely watching out for a possible overshoot in exchange-rate movements as foreigners sell stocks. And then the traders are looking to minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting for clues around the timing or speed of plans to taper asset purchases.

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Euro zone ministers expect inflation to slow in 2022

The acceleration of euro zone inflation, driven energy prices, is mostly temporary. Then the price growth will slow down again. The euro zone finance ministers agreed that, that too the next year as forecasted by the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Paschal Donohoe, chaired the talks of the ministers in Luxembourg. In a news conference he said that there was also agreement that the inflation spike was not an argument against the transition to renewable sources of energy. This is under the EU’s ambitious plan of reducing CO2 emissions to zero by the year 2050.

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Under new rules, borrowing for investment sensible

British finance minister Rishi Sunak said that the government borrowing to fund investment was a sensible thing. This is to allow under new fiscal rules that he is likely to announce, unlike borrowing for day-to-day spending. He said that borrowing for capital investment that is going to drive up their growth is probably a sensible thing for them. And that too particularly in an environment of slightly lower interest rate. Sunak stated this in an event on the sidelines of the annual conference of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party. This event was organized by the Taxpayers’ Alliance advocacy group. Sunak stated in that event, that borrowing for more day-to-day spending is probably less something that you would want to have as part of your framework.

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IMF board to interview Georgieva-sources

The International Monetary Fund’s executive board is going to interview Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. This is regarding that; its reviews claims that she pressured World Bank staff to alter data to favor China in her previous role. Board members were initially expected to meet with Georgieva. But spent their time working on other regular business matters.

The board members spent hours for questioning lawyers from the WilmerHale firm. This is about their World Bank investigation report which alleged that Georgieva, as the bank‘s CEO applied undue pressure on staff, to alter data in the flagship “Doing Business” report to benefit China. Then, an IMF spokesperson said that the IMF board remains committed to a thorough, objective, and timely review of the matter. Georgieva has strongly denied the accusations.

The upcoming interviews could prove pivotal in either increasing support for Georgieva. This is with many IMF shareholders are keen to wrap up the board’s deliberations on the matter. The fund’s most influential member governments, including the top shareholder the United States, have withheld public judgment. The World Bank tasked WilmerHale with investigating the “Doing Business” data irregularities identified in 2020. The law firm’s report contends Georgieva. The former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s office pressured staff to manipulate data so that the China’s global ranking in the “Doing Business 2018” study of investment climates rose to 78th from 85th.

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