EUR/USD Plunges After Fed’s Rate Hike Decision

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EUR/USD fell mildly on Wednesday reversing territory late in the session, after the Federal Reserve met market expectations by approving its first interest rate hike in nearly a decade.

The currency pair traded in a broad range between 1.0866 and 1.1011 before settling at 1.087, down 0.0042 or 0.39% on the session. With the minor losses, the euro fell to its lowest level against the dollar in a week. The dollar is up slightly against the euro since plunging by more than 3% on December 3 after the European Central Bank rattled global foreign exchange markets by only implementing limited easing measures to its comprehensive asset-purchasing program.

EUR/USD likely gained support at 1.0538, the low from Dec. 3 and was met with resistance at 1.1496, the high from Oct. 15.

In a unanimous decision, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), lifted its benchmark Federal Funds Rate by 25 basis points to a range between 0.25 and 0.50%. Before Wednesday’s decision, the FOMC had held short-term interest rates at near zero levels for 56 consecutive meetings, a streak which dated back to December, 2008. In making its decision, the FOMC judged that it has seen considerable improvements in labor market conditions while it is reasonably confident that inflation will rise over its 2% objective over the next several years. The FOMC lowered short-term rates to a zero-bound range seven years ago in an effort to stimulate the economy months after the start of the Financial Crisis.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, surged by more than 0.80% to settle at 98.29. Yellen also noted that although a number of countries throughout the world have suffered slowing growth due to the rout in commodity prices, she added that the Fed has seen a rebound in Emerging Markets of late. On Wednesday, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (N:EEM) ETF gained 0.65 or 2% to 33.20.

Yields on the U.S. 10-Year inched up one basis point to 2.28%, while yields on the {{23693|Germany 10-Year} }rose four basis points to 0.68%.

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