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Sterling firmed on Thursday as the discovery of the first case of the Omicron variant in the United States weighed on the dollar overnight, but trading was choppy amid uncertainty about whether the Bank of England will hike interest rates this month.
The dollar trod water against major peers on Wednesday after weakening in the past three days, and traded near a one-month low to the yen, with investors awaiting U.S. inflation data for a clue to when the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates. The safe-haven yen also benefited from global stocks retreating from a record peak as rising oil prices stoked inflation worries.
The dollar was on course for a second straight week of gains against major peers on Friday, ahead of a key U.S. jobs report that could sway the timing of Federal Reserve interest rate increases. Sterling headed for its worst week in 11 after the Bank of England caught the market off-guard by keeping rates steady on Thursday.