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Dollar Calm; Focus on Emerging Central Banks

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar is largely unchanged in European trade early Thursday, as a degree of calm prevails following the signing of the Sino-U.S. trade deal.

At 03:25 ET (0825 GMT), the euro traded at $1.1155, up 0.1%, while sterling stood at $1.3046, up 0.1%. The dollar traded at 110.05 yen, up 0.1%. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of developed market currencies, was down 0.1% at 96.910.

That signing of the much-anticipated phase one trade agreement between the U.S. and China should draw a line under 18 months of tit-for-tat tariff hikes that have hurt global growth.

The signing should result in a calmer market in 2020 from at least one point of view, although underlying tensions between the U.S. on the hand and Europe and China on the other still remain.

“The U.S.-China deal implies that the amount of uncertainty related to trade war declines significantly in the short-term,” according to a research note from Tuuli Koivu at Nordea. “We assume that after having achieved the phase one trade deal with China, Trump will not take huge risks when running for president at the November elections.”

Looking elsewhere, the South African central bank holds its latest rate setting meeting at 8:00 AM ET (13:00 GMT). The bank is widely expected to hold its key repo rate unchanged at 6.5%. That said, the last meeting in November showed a split between the members, with three of the five members voting to hold, while two favored a cut.

Turkey’s central bank also meets Thursday to decide on interest rates, having slashed borrowing costs in half from 24 percent in July. Thirteen of 21 economists surveyed by Reuters predicted another rate cut, with six expecting the bank to lower interest rates by 100 basis points to 11 percent. Some analysts argue that that would leave Turkish real interest rates too low, given that inflation has rebounded to nearly 12% in the last couple of months.

At 03:25 AM ET (08:25 GMT), the dollar traded at 14.3906 rand, and the at 5.8887 lira.

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