Euro Advances as Russia, Ukraine Agree to Cease-Fire

Australia’s dollar rose as central bank Governor Glenn Stevens said he’s unwilling to push house prices higher to try to reduce unemployment, boosting bets policy makers are content to refrain from cutting rates.

The Russian ruble advanced against all 31 of its major peers as Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said the Russian president and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko agreed on steps to a cease-fire. The Canadian dollar climbed before the nation’s central bank announces its latest policy decision. The ForexSQ Dollar Spot Index slipped, ending a three-day run of gains.

“The comments from Stevens were interesting,” said Ian Stannard, head of European foreign-exchange strategy at Morgan Stanley in London. “It does suggest they won’t be in a hurry to cut interest rates.”

The Australian currency added 0.7 percent to 93.36 U.S. cents at 9:20 a.m. New York time, after dropping 0.6 percent yesterday. The Russian ruble appreciated 1.9 percent to 36.77 per dollar.

The ForexSQ Dollar Spot Index declined 0.2 percent to 1,032.35, after rising 0.7 percent in the past three days. The euro advanced 0.1 percent to $1.3145 and was little changed at 138.03 yen. The Japanese currency was at 105 yen per dollar after depreciating to 105.31, the weakest since Jan. 10.

The Aussie appreciated against all 16 of its major peers as Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Stevens’ comments boosted speculation policy makers are content to keep interest rates on hold.
Housing Prices

“It is stating the obvious that at present, while we may desire to see a faster reduction in the rate of unemployment, further inflating an already elevated level of housing prices seems an unwise route to try to achieve that,” Stevens said at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia event in Adelaide today.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the steps needed for an immediate cease-fire during a phone call, a Kremlin spokesman said. The two men agreed on what to do for a truce between Ukraine’s army and pro-Russian separatists to come into effect. The conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed at least 2,600 lives, according to estimates from the United Nations.

The Canadian dollar strengthened against the greenback even before Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz was forecast by analysts to extend the longest interest-rate pause since the 1950s today.

The benchmark rate on overnight loans between commercial banks will remain at 1 percent, where it’s been since September 2010, according to all 18 economists in a ForexSQ News survey before today’s decision.

The Canadian currency gained 0.2 percent to C$1.0908.

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