Politics

FOREX-Canadian, Aussie dollars fall on bets on dovish central bank stances

* Canadian dollar falls as BOC sees rate hikes moreuncertain

* Australian dollar falls to 2-month low on rate-cut bets

* U.S. dollar holds near 2-week high after Fed's Beige Book

* Euro hovers above $1.13 in advance of ECB meeting

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh (Updates market action, adds quote)

By Richard Leong

NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - The Canadian and Australiandollar sank to two-month lows on Wednesday as traders scaledback holdings on expectations policy-makers would leave interestrates alone in the foreseeable future or even lower them tocounter their softening economies.

The Bank of Canada said on Wednesday there was "increaseduncertainty" about the timing of future rate hikes as it heldinterest rates steady as expected.

Australia said its economy grew at a 0.2 percent pace in thefourth quarter of 2018, falling short of the 0.3 percentforecast by analysts polled by Reuters. The dour GDP figure camea day after the Reserve Bank of Australia's upbeat outlookfailed to dispel bets it would have to lower rates eventually.

"The moves are about the dovishness of their central banksand deterioration in their domestic data," said Ben Randol,senior FX strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in NewYork.

The Canadian dollar fell to C$1.3457 after the release ofthe BOC's latest policy statement, its lowest against its U.S.counterpart since Jan. 4. At 3:20 p.m. EST (2020 GMT), it was0.55 percent weaker at C$1.3424.

The Aussie dollar was $0.7028, down 0.78 percent on the dayafter hitting $0.7021, a two-month low.

The greenback held steady against most major currenciesafter the Federal Reserve released its latest Beige Book, whichshowed tariffs and a record 35-day partial government shutdownwere drags on the U.S. economy in early 2019.

While the Fed took a dovish turn of its own in late January,the dollar has been supported by the relative wide differentialsbetween U.S. bond yields and the yields of most developedeconomies, analysts said.

For example, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were about256 basis points higher than those on 10-year German Bunds DE10US10=TWEB .

Speculators have remained bullish on the greenback in viewof the continuing uncertainties over Brexit and tradenegotiations between China and the United States.

An index that tracks the dollar against a basket ofcurrencies was little changed on the day at 96.878, just below atwo-week high reached on Tuesday.

The euro EUR=EBS bounced back above $1.13 after hitting atwo-week low at $1.12855 earlier Wednesday. It was a marginallylower on the day at 126.42 yenEURJPY=EBS .

Analysts expected little surprises from the European CentralBank meeting on Thursday amid speculation that it is gettingready to make new cheap loans to struggling banks through itsTargeted Long-Term Refinancing Operations (TLTROs).

"The euro has effectively priced in no change in their(ECB's) inflation outlook and no change in their forwardguidance," said Paresh Upadhyaya, director of currency strategyat Amundi Pioneer Investments in Boston.========================================================

Currency bid prices at 3:22PM (2022 GMT) Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1308$1.1306 +0.02% -1.40% +1.1326 +1.1288 Dollar/Yen JPY= 111.7800 111.8900 -0.10% +1.38% +111.9200 +111.6200 Euro/Yen EURJPY= 126.41 126.51 -0.08% +0.15% +126.5400 +126.2000 Dollar/Swiss CHF= 1.0047 1.0040 +0.07% +2.37% +1.0056 +1.0032 Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.3173 1.3175 -0.02% +3.26% +1.3178 +1.3125 Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3421 1.3345 +0.57% -1.58% +1.3456 +1.3349 Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7028 0.7082 -0.76% -0.30% +0.7092 +0.7022 ar Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1363 1.1357 +0.05% +0.97% +1.1369 +1.1348 Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8583 0.8580 +0.03% -4.46% +0.8619 +0.8578 NZ NZD= 0.6770 0.6789 -0.28% +0.79% +0.6801 +0.6754 Dollar/Dollar Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.6664 8.6608 +0.06% +0.32% +8.6957 +8.6557 Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.8014 9.7981 +0.03% -1.06% +9.8275 +9.7927 Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.2943 9.3078 -0.11% +3.69% +9.3379 +9.2803 Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.5145 10.5261 -0.11% +2.44% +10.5537 +10.4950

richard.leong@thomsonreuters.com richard.leong.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net


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