FOREX-Dollar steady as central banks take central stage


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      Graphic: World FX rates

 (Recasts with jobs data, adds quotes, details; updates prices;
changes byline; previous LONDON)
    By Karen Brettell
       NEW YORK, Jan 30 (Reuters) - The dollar was little
changed on Monday, a day before the Federal Reserve was due to
begin a two-day policy meeting, while the euro was boosted by
unexpectedly high inflation data before the European Central
Bank meets on Thursday.
    The U.S. central bank is widely expected to hike interest
rates by an additional 25 basis points this week, and investors
will be watching for any new indications on how many more rate
increases are likely.
    Fed Chair Jerome Powell is in a "difficult position" because
"they're going to raise rates 25 basis points and yet he's going
to have to argue against the easing of financial conditions,”
said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn
Global Forex in New York.
    Fed funds futures traders are pricing for the Fed's
benchmark rate to peak at 4.93% in June, up from 4.33% now, and
then for the central bank to cut it to 4.52% by December. This
contrasts with comments from Fed officials, who have said that
they will need to keep rates in restrictive territory for a
period of time in order to bring down inflation.  FEDWATCH 
    The dollar index  =USD  has weakened to 101.88 from a
20-year high of 114.78 on Sept. 28 as investors price in the
likelihood that the Fed is nearing the end of its tightening
cycle. But it has been largely rangebound for the past few weeks
as it hits technical support against major currencies including
the euro.     
    The question now is "does the dollar bounce or is this a
nesting pattern before the next leg down," Chandler said.
    The euro  EUR=EBS  rose 0.25% to $1.0894 after Spain's
consumer prices rose 5.8% on a year-on-year basis in January,
the first increase in six months.
    "Today's data will underline expectations for a
50-basis-point hike from the ECB on Thursday and also signal
that rates will be moved further up," said Niels Christensen,
chief analyst at Nordea.
    The dollar dipped 0.35% against the Japanese yen  JPY=EBS .
    A panel of academics and business executives on Monday urged
the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to make its 2% inflation target a
long-term goal instead of one that must be met as soon as
possible, in light of the rising cost of prolonged monetary
    The Australian dollar  AUD=D3  fell 0.49% to $0.7074 but was
on track for a monthly gain of nearly 4%, after Australia's
inflation rate shot to a 33-year high last quarter, causing
traders to ramp up bets that the Reserve Bank of Australia will
have to tighten interest rates further.  0#RBAWATCH 
    Sterling  GBP=D3  dipped 0.14% to $1.2382 ahead of the Bank
of England's meeting on Thursday. The BoE and ECB are both
expected to raise rates by 50 basis points each this week.
    Currency bid prices at 9:51AM (1451 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct       High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                   
 Dollar index      =USD       101.8800       101.8900    +0.00%         -1.556%       +102.0400   +101.6500
 Euro/Dollar       EUR=EBS    $1.0894        $1.0868     +0.25%         +1.68%        +$1.0914    +$1.0854
 Dollar/Yen        JPY=EBS    130.2900       129.8000    +0.35%         -0.66%        +130.3300   +129.2000
 Euro/Yen          EURJPY=    141.95         141.11      +0.60%         +1.18%        +141.9700   +140.5600
 Dollar/Swiss      CHF=EBS    0.9234         0.9215      +0.21%         -0.14%        +0.9239     +0.9184
 Sterling/Dollar   GBP=D3     $1.2382        $1.2400     -0.14%         +2.39%        +$1.2416    +$1.2369
 Dollar/Canadian   CAD=D3     1.3339         1.3311      +0.21%         -1.55%        +1.3353     +1.3300
 Aussie/Dollar     AUD=D3     $0.7074        $0.7110     -0.49%         +3.79%        +$0.7120    +$0.7065
 Euro/Swiss        EURCHF=    1.0058         1.0010      +0.48%         +1.65%        +1.0061     +1.0006
 Euro/Sterling     EURGBP=    0.8797         0.8770      +0.31%         -0.53%        +0.8802     +0.8763
 NZ                NZD=D3     $0.6489        $0.6494     -0.08%         +2.19%        +$0.6508    +$0.6474
 Dollar/Norway     NOK=D3     9.9035         9.8805      +0.31%         +0.99%        +9.9365     +9.8675
 Euro/Norway       EURNOK=    10.7926        10.7336     +0.55%         +2.85%        +10.8206    +10.7134
 Dollar/Sweden     SEK=       10.3492        10.3058     +0.88%         -0.56%        +10.3712    +10.2939
 Euro/Sweden       EURSEK=    11.2750        11.1769     +0.88%         +1.12%        +11.2869    +11.1930
 (Additional reporting by Samuel Indyk in London; Editing by
Paul Simao)

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