NEW YORK—The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury did not intervene in foreign exchange markets during the January – March 2020 quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said today in its quarterly report to the U.S. Congress.
The U.S. dollar, as measured by the Federal Reserve Board's broad trade-weighted dollar index, appreciated 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020, which was the most since the fourth quarter of 1997. The significant appreciation was primarily driven by “safe-haven” flows stemming from a sharp reduction in the global growth outlook related to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Exchange rates were exceptionally volatile during the quarter, influenced by heightened uncertainty over the path and duration of the virus and poor liquidity conditions. The U.S. dollar appreciated notably against emerging market and most developed market currencies, though it depreciated modestly against perceived safe-haven currencies. Among major currencies, the U.S. dollar appreciated 25.1 percent against the Mexican peso, 8.3 percent against the Canadian dollar, 6.8 percent against the British pound, and 1.6 percent against the euro. Meanwhile, it depreciated 1 percent against the Japanese yen and 0.6 percent against the Swiss franc.
The report was presented by Lorie Logan, executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Federal Open Market Committee’s manager for the System Open Market Account, on behalf of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve System.
The full report is available on the New York Fed's website.