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Coronavirus
VERY HIGH Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
23,462
4024hr
Pakistan Cases
1,039,695
4,85824hr
8.61% positivity
Sindh
385,414
Punjab
357,735
Balochistan
30,502
Islamabad
88,093
KPK
144,848

LONDON: The dollar was headed for its best week in nearly nine months on Friday, with rival currencies struggling to shake the pressure exerted by the Federal Reserve's hawkish shift in tone.

With investors pricing in a sooner-than-expected tapering of extraordinary US monetary stimulus, the euro and the yen failed to recoup losses made during the last two days.

Hovering above $1.19, the euro was just 0.05% higher against the dollar and on course for its worse week since October with a 1.6% fall.

With a dovish European Central Bank seemingly far behind the Fed in the monetary policy cycle, traders will be reluctant to buy euros against dollars.

"The US central bank is one step ahead and as a result USD is likely to remain well supported against the EUR," Commerzbank strategists said in their daily note.

"As no important data is due for publication today or at the start of next week, the FX market is likely to feel mainly the after-effects of the Fed meeting," they added.

With investors busy closing short positions since the Fed meeting, the dollar index hit a more than two-month high of 92.071, and is on track for a 1.6% weekly gain, its largest since September.

At 1104 GMT, the dollar index was up 0.05% at 91.915. The greenback is also on track for a weekly 0.4% rise against the yen, which sat at 110.11 per dollar after hitting an 11-week low of 110.82.

It was little moved by the Bank of Japan keeping its main policy settings steady, as expected.

The Swiss franc was also on course to lose about 2.3% against the dollar this week after the Swiss National Bank signalled on Thursday that monetary policy would stay ultra-loose for the foreseeable future.

Sterling fell 0.2% to $1.3899 and was headed for a weekly loss of 1.5% while fresh data showed an unexpected fall in Britain's retail sales.

Versus the euro, it was down around 0.2% at 85.69 pence per euro, on track for a small weekly fall.

The Australian dollar struck its lowest since December at $0.7508 and the Kiwi fell to its weakest since April at $0.6982, defying eye-popping reports on Australian jobs and New Zealand growth this week.

In the world of crypto currencies, bitcoin failed to get a lift from the news that Spanish bank BBVA would open a bitcoin trading service to all private banking clients in Switzerland. Bitcoin was down 0.5% at $37,879.