Daily Afternoon Report 20.11.2015

The dollar held gains against the other major currencies in quiet trade on Friday, as growing hopes for a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve continued to lend support to the greenback.

USD/JPY was steady at 122.84, not very far from Wednesday’s three-month high of 123.69.

The greenback remained supported after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s October meeting showed on Wednesday that a majority of board members are in favor of a December rate hike.

“While no decision had been made, it may well become appropriate to initiate the normalization process at the next meeting,” the minutes said.

EUR/USD dropped 0.43% to trade at 1.0687, re-approaching Wednesday’s six-month trough of 1.0614

The euro weakened after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated that the central bank will do what is necessary to ensure that inflation returns rapidly toward the goal of just under 2%.

The comments came a day after the minutes of the ECB’s October meeting showed on Thursday that the risk that it would miss its inflation target again has increased.

Most members of the Governing Council shared the view that inflation risks have increased and anticipated the timing of inflation getting back to target is likely to be pushed back again.

Elsewhere, the dollar was higher against the pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD down 0.29% at 1.5246 and with USD/CHF adding 0.19% to 1.0148.

The U.K. Office for National Statistics reported on Friday that public sector net borrowing rose by £7.47 billion in October after an increase of £8.33 billion in September, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated £8.63 billion rise.

Analysts had expected public sector net borrowing to increase by £5.50 billion last month.

The Australian dollar was higher, with AUD/USD up 0.25% to 0.7211, while NZD/USD slipped 0.14% to 0.6557.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD rose 0.21% to trade at 1.3310.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.27% at 99.35, re-approaching Wednesday’s seven-month high of 99.96.