As reported by Wall Street Journal’s Javier David, Currency:
NEW YORK—Investors wasted no time in sending the dollar to new three-year lows after the Federal Reserve gave them little reason to support it.
Weak U.S. growth and unemployment data quickened the dollar’s fall. Initial employment claims jumped back above the 400,000 level in the latest week. Meanwhile, gross domestic product data showed that economic growth slowed sharply in the first quarter, led by surging food and energy costs that sent a key gauge of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, soaring to its highest level in nearly three years.
Late Thursday, the euro was at $1.4821 from $1.4794 late Wednesday. The dollar traded at ¥81.54 from ¥82.04, while the euro was at ¥120.85 from ¥121.37. The U.K. pound bought $1.6640 from $1.6636. The dollar fetched 0.8733 Swiss franc from 0.8738 franc, plunging to a new record low.
The ICE Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. dollar against a trade-weighted basket of currencies, was at 73.12 from 73.519, its lowest level since July 2008.
The Australian dollar, helped by rising interest-rate expectations and surging oil, rose to a new 29-year high at $1.0920 from $1.0872 late Wednesday.
The Federal Open Market Committee’s decision Wednesday to maintain its bias toward cheap credit loomed larger than ever for the beleaguered U.S. currency. At a time when traders are nervous about global inflation and rewarding the currencies of countries that raise interest rates, the dollar has lacked any yield advantage.
In a much-anticipated news conference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tracked the FOMC statement and did little to deter dollar bears, who have profited from anti-dollar bets for months and appear willing to continue the rout.