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EUR/USD rises sharply as commodities, U.S. equities sell-off weigh

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Shutterstock photo - -- EUR/USD rose sharply on Monday, as a sell-off among commodities and U.S. equities weighed heavily on the dollar.

The currency pair wavered between a low of 1.1147 and a high of 1.1248, before settling at 1.1245, up 0.0046 or 0.41% on the session. Following a four-day losing streak last week, the euro has now closed higher against the dollar in four of the last five sessions. During a volatile stretch over the last five weeks, EUR/USD has traded as low as 1.10 and reached as high as 1.171. Over that span, the pair is down by roughly 1%.

EUR/USD likely gained support at 1.1088, the low from September 4 and was met with resistance at 1.146, the high from Sept. 18.

The dollar fell considerably on Monday in spite of continuing indications from the Federal Reserve that it will raise short-term interest rates at some point over the next several months. On Monday morning, New York Fed president William Dudley told the Wall Street Journal that the Fed is on track to hike rates before the end of the year and could reach its targeted goal for inflation at some point in 2016. In its inflation forecasts earlier this month, the Fed estimated that inflation would reach 1.7% by the end of next year and not hit 2.0% until 2018.

It came days after Fed chair Janet Yellen offered her first personal endorsement of a 2015 rate hike since July during hawkish remarks in an appearance at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst last Thursday. While delivering a speech on inflation dynamics at the university's Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture, Yellen noted that the inflation shortfall is likely to be transitory, as one-off factors such as lower energy prices and weaker imports due to a stronger dollar abate. Yellen added that inflation should reach the Fed's 2% target when the labor market returns to full employment.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said its Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Index increased by $54.9 million or 0.4% in August, or at the same rate as its increase a month earlier. Personal income rose by 0.3% last month, following an upward revision of 0.1% in July to 0.4%.

The Core PCE Index, which strips out food and energy prices, increased 0.4% on a month-over-month basis, on the back of strong gains in durable goods and motor vehicles and parts. It follows an increase of 0.3% in July.

On a yearly basis, Core PCE inched up 0.1% from its July level to 1.3% over the last 12 months. The Core or Real PCE Index is the Fed's preferred gauge for inflation, as it decides whether to raise short-term interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Long-term inflation has remained under the Fed's targeted goal of 2% in every month for the last three years.

A rate hike is widely viewed as bullish for the dollar, as foreign investors pile into the greenback in search of higher yields.

Yields on the U.S. 10-Year plunged more than seven basis points to 2.093%, while yields on the U.S. 30-Year fell more than eight basis points to 2.875%, as a pullback in risky assets sent investors scurrying to safe-haven government bonds. Treasury yields are inversely related to bond prices.

Investors await the release of September inflation data in the euro zone on Wednesday for further indications on the strength of the global economy. Analysts expect to see a 0.1% gain for the month, following a 0.1% increase in August.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.25% on Monday to 96.10. Last week, the index surged above 96.85 to reach its highest level in September. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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