Dollar, euro hold steady ahead of ECB meeting

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The dollar and euro were little changed on Monday as traders wait for decisions from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank on how much and how fast they may reduce interest rates, beginning with the ECB on Thursday.

Traders see about a 46% probability European policy-makers will lower a key deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.50 basis points to combat risk from global trade tensions and anemic regional inflation, based on local interest rates market.

"Our base case for the ECB could see some small upside in (euro versus dollar) unless the Governing Council delivers a strongly dovish surprise," said Ned Rumpeltin, TD Securities' European head of FX strategy. "Overall, however, we think recent range should remain in place."

Rising chances of European interest rates sliding deeper into negative territory had pressured the euro lower against the dollar, and propelled the Swiss franc to a two-year peak against the single currency.

Meanwhile, the greenback has been bogged down by bets the Federal Reserve will likely cut U.S. interest rates for the first time in a decade to deal with the same issues as the ECB.

Data published late on Friday showed speculators dialed back their net bullish positions in the dollar against other G10 currencies to their lowest level in a year.

The euro was marginally lower at $1.1215, rebounding from a session low of $1.1207.

The dollar moved lower in step with U.S. yields. The two-year Treasury yield slipped to 1.801% early on Monday, which was below the Fed's current target range of 2.25%-2.50% on short-term rates.

An index that tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies was fractionally higher at 97.2. 

U.S. rates futures implied traders positioned for a 72% chance the U.S. central bank may lower its rate range by a quarter point at its July 30-31 policy meeting, down from 76% late on Friday, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

Rates futures signaled traders priced in nearly a 28% chance for a 50 basis-point cut next week, up from 24% on Friday. Rates futures rallied last Thursday with perceived chances for a half-point rate cut soaring to 71% after a dovish speech a Fed spokesman clarified that the remarks did not refer to "potential policy actions."

The Swiss franc fell to 1.0999 franc per euro earlier on Monday, which was its strongest level against the common currency since July 2017.