By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar edged higher from two-week lows on Monday, recovering after Friday’s bout of profit-taking following a robust U.S. jobs report, as investors looked to this week’s Federal Reserve’s policy meeting in which it is expected to raise rates by a quarter percentage point.
“We remain bullish on the dollar, but as Friday’s events suggested, a lot of good news is already priced into the dollar at current levels,” said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist, at Scotiabank in Toronto.
“Yields are high enough and spreads are wide enough to keep the dollar broadly supported against its major currency peers for the moment, but additional gains will likely hinge on the messaging from the Fed at the FOMC.”
The Federal Open Market Committee will hold a two-day monetary policy meeting, which starts on Tuesday. Fed funds futures on Monday have priced in a nearly 90-percent chance the Fed will hike rates on Wednesday.
Sterling, which has been one of the worst performers against the dollar over the last two weeks, rose half a percent after the devolved Scottish government demanded the right to hold a new referendum on independence.
In late morning trading, the dollar was slightly higher against a basket of currencies at 101.31 and was marginally up against the euro. The single European currency was last at $1.0664.
The dollar index earlier fell to a two-week low of 101.01.
Friday’s solid jobs number cemented the case for a rise in U.S. interest rates this week that will long predate any rise in European equivalents.
Britain is expected to formally lodge its request to leave the European Union, but was given another curve ball from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a new referendum on independence.
But Sturgeon’s timeframe for the referendum, which at the earliest could happen by the end of next year when Brexit negotiations are expected to be concluded, partially eased concerns about the issue adding to more political risk over the next 12 months.
Sterling, as a result, held gains against the dollar rising 0.5 percent to $1.2229.
Against the yen, the dollar slipped 0.1 percent to 114.68 yen.
Scotiabank, in a research note, said there is speculation on the potential for changes at the Bank of Japan, including a possible shift to 10-year government bond yield target range from the current zero level. This is considered positive for the yen.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London; Editing by Nick Zieminski)