Euro firm, dollar weak as ECB expands stimulus
The euro firmed on Friday after the European Central Bank expanded its stimulus to shore up the economy from recession.
The euro’s gains lifted risk appetite for Asian currencies and pushed the dollar index to an almost three-month low. It last stood at 96.808.
The ECB raised its emergency bond purchase scheme to 1.35 trillion euros and extended it until 2021. The 600-billion-euro addition to the stimulus was bigger than what investors expected.
The euro traded at $1.1338 on its third straight week of gains. It rose to a 13-month high of 123.620 against the Japanese yen and hit a five-month high of 1.0830 on the Swiss franc.
The euro was also lifted by Germany’s decision to support the EU recovery fund, breaking its long-held tradition of resisting fiscal integration in the bloc.
The dollar stood at 109.11 on the yen as U.S. jobless claims fell below 2 million last week. The unemployment rate is expected to hit 19.8%.
The Australian dollar stood at $0.6947, while the Hong Kong dollar rose to $7.7500. The gains came despite the rising tensions in the city due to Beijing’s national security law.