Dollar Marks Thanksgiving with New Record Lows


The dollar hit new record lows against the euro, the Swiss a basket of currencies on Thursday on growing belief that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again next month.

Adding to downward pressure on the dollar was a recovery in equity markets and a slight pick up in risk appetite which made investors more willing to put on riskier trades in high-yielding or emerging market currencies.

The more risk-friendly mood also hit the yen, a favorite source of cheap funding for the carry trades based on interest rate differentials.

The Japanese currency eased from the previous day's 2-1/2 year peaks versus the dollar, while the high-yielding Australian and New Zealand units -- top carry targets -- gained broadly.

The dollar fell to a new record low of 1.1006 Swiss francs before recovering to 1.1019 francs by 9:43 a.m. EST.

The dollar index, which measures the dollar's value against a basket of major currencies, hit a record low of 74.916.

However, the dollar gained against the yen to 108.67 yen, pulling away from the 2-1/2 year low of 108.23 yen hit on Wednesday, according to Reuters data .

Expectations for further U.S. rate cuts were reinforced on Tuesday by the Fed's projection that economic growth will slow next year, even though the central bank adopted a reasonably hawkish tone and said that October's cut was a "close call".

U.S. short-term interest rate futures are pricing in a 25 basis point Fed cut to 4.25 percent on December 11 and are even giving a small chance of a 50 basis point move.


Reuters
11/22/2007 8:17:08 AM