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Dollar Drifts Lower on Impeachment; Riksbank, BOE Eyed

Investing.com -- The dollar was down modestly in early trading in Europe, after the Bank of Japan kicked off a busy day of central bank meetings by signalling no imminent change to its monetary policy.

By 3:05 AM ET (0805 GMT), the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of developed market currencies, was down 0.1% from late Friday at 96.88.

As widely expected, the BOJ maintained its short-term interest rate target at -0.1% and that for 10-year government bond yields around 0%.

The focus now turns to Scandinavia, where two of the only central banks in the world to consider tightening monetary policy have their regular meetings. The Swedish Riksbank is set to end its experiment with negative rates and raise its key rate to 0% from -0.25%, chiefly on concerns about financial stability. The krona has risen some 2% against the euro in the last month in anticipation but was effectively flat at 10.4658 by 3:05 AM ET (0805 GMT). Norway’s central bank is expected to leave its key rate unchanged.

The pound is also in focus after a volatile week in the wake of the general election. The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee meets later, and is expected to vote 7-2 again in favor of keeping interest rates unchanged, although some have raised bets on a rate cut after weak economic data and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s revival of the specter of a no-deal Brexit scenario, both of which increase the pressure for monetary support.

The pound was recovering some momentum again in early trading, rising 0.3% against the dollar to $1.3117 and rising 0.2% against the euro to 1.1727. EUR/GBP fell to 0.8484.

Overnight, the dollar had weakened in reaction to the House of Representatives’ vote to impeach President Donald Trump, who will now face trial in the Senate. The biggest gainer was the Aussie, which rose in response to stronger-than-expected employment data for November.

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