© Reuters. Rolled euro banknotes placed on U.S. dollar bills
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO (Reuters) – The euro held close to several months of highs against rival majors on Thursday, expecting the European Central Bank to expand its bond buying program later in the day to bolster the coronavirus-affected economy.
The strength of the euro helped push the dollar’s index against a basket of key currencies to the lowest level in almost three months.
The Euro stood at $ 1.12305 () as it rose to $ 1.1258 on Wednesday, its highest levels since mid-March and the seven straight win session.
Against the Japanese yen, the single currency rose to a 4-1 / 2-month high of 122.625 overnight and stood at 122.41 yen last ().
It also fetched 1,0798 francs () on the Swiss currency in the safe harbor, having risen to as high as 1.0820, its strongest since Jan. 14th
The European Central Bank is widely expected to increase its $ 750 billion ($ 669 billion) Pandemic Emergency BuyProgram (PEPP) by Thursday.
The ECB delivers its political decision at. 1145 GMT, and ECB President Christine Lagarde will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. 1230 GMT.
The currency has been boosted by hopes of fiscal support measures in the European Union after Germany threw its weight last month behind the idea of an EU recovery fund breaking away from its long-standing tradition of resisting steps towards fiscal integration into the currency block.
It has largely supported the euro rise against the dollar in seven straight sessions until Wednesday, after rising 2.3% during this period.
“I suspect the market has already priced about $ 500 billion in PEPP, and in the short term there is a risk of a correction,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.
“The market may respond positively if the ECB extends the target of its bond purchase or scraps its limit for each country. But in terms of overall size, it is hard to expect a positive surprise now,” he said.
() Stood at 97,340, after falling approx. 1% so far this week, as a broad improvement in risk sentiment, supported by global reopening, reduced the greenback target.
On Wednesday, data showed that the U.S. private wages fell less than expected in May, suggesting layoffs ceased as businesses reopen, though the overall economy’s recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic will be slow.
Predictably, the port also weakened for much of this period, trading last at 108.96 yen
Sterling changed hands for $ 1.2576
The UK is expected to indicate flexibility in relation to fisheries and trade rules if the European Union accepts to learn its regulatory adaptation and fisheries requirements, the Times reported on Tuesday as a new round of talks starts.
The UK has until July 1 to request an extension of the current transitional period ending in December.