USA dollar eases in Asian trade on expectations of Fed pause

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell

The Federal Reserve may only need to raise interest rates once in 2019, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said on Monday, focusing on business executives' nervousness about the economy and a global slowdown as factors that may hold the United States central bank back.

Financial markets have been rattled by heightened worries about slowing global growth, especially in the United States and China, though data on Friday showed strong USA job growth.

Asian shares extended gains for a third day on Tuesday.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, fell 0.54 percent at 95.6675 in late trading.

BofAML saw upside in Chinese and German stocks; US small cap stocks; semi-government debt; energy stocks; USA dollar and euro high-yielding bonds and emerging market currencies.

Spot palladium hit a record high at $1,313.24 per ounce on Monday and was trading at a premium to gold.

MSCI's world equity index.MIWD00000PUS, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was up 0.77 percent, its highest since December 19.

The metal, used mainly in emissions-reducing auto catalysts for vehicles, gained 0.5 percent to $1,306.55.

The 10-year US Treasuries yield are down more than 50 basis points from its October peak of 3.261 per cent.

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That is almost 50 bps below the November peak, however, suggesting there is still plenty of nervousness around growth prospects for the US economy.

Stable equity markets and production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries helped oil prices rise for a fifth straight session.

Some of the stocks recovery may be attributed to investors buying stocks once again in the belief that the market had bottomed out or had overshot in pricing in global risks. The U.S. dollar lost 0.7 percent against the Swiss franc on Monday.

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch noted global equity markets had lost $19.9 trillion since January a year ago, and a record $84 billion had flowed out of stocks in just the past six weeks.

An index of world stocks rose on Monday, extending strong gains logged last week as investors took heart from Friday's robust USA employment data and a message from the US central bank that it would be patient and flexible in policy decisions this year.

"At the moment, the dollar is recovering, which is one of the reasons gold prices are lower", said ABN AMRO analyst Georgette Boele.

"Our Bull & Bear Indicator has fallen to an "extreme bear" reading, triggering the first "buy" signal for risk assets since June 2016", they wrote in a note.

The currency could not even hold early gains on the yen, lapsing back to 108.36.

Money markets have priced out a USA rate hike this year and are even pricing in a small probability of a rate cut in 2020. The crude benchmark rose 135 cents on Monday to $58.42 a barrel, while US crude futures gained 111 cents to $49.07.

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