Get 40% Off
🚀 AI-picked stocks soar in May. PRFT is +55%—in just 16 days! Don’t miss June’s top picks.Unlock full list

Dollar set for hefty monthly gain ahead of Fed decision

Published 01/31/2024, 05:54 PM
© Reuters.
- - The U.S. dollar edged higher in early European trade Wednesday, on course for its biggest monthly gain since September, while the euro retreated after weak inflation data.

At 04:45 ET (09:45 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% higher at 103.352, on track to register gains of over 2% this month.

Dollar on course for strong monthly gains

The dollar has been in demand this month as traders dialled back expectations on when the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates given strong U.S. economic data and pushback from central bankers.

The greenback has also been helped by the escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, which have weighed on risk sentiment amid fears of a wider regional conflict.

The U.S. central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged, and thus the focus is likely to be on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s post meeting press conference to see if he flags cuts are coming.

“Given U.S. data releases – most recently the December JOLTS data showing job openings expanding – there seems little reason for tonight’s FOMC communication to push the market to price any more than the current 130bp of rate cuts for this year,” said analysts at ING, in a note. “This should be a neutral/positive development for the dollar.”  

There is more labor data to study Wednesday, in the form of the ADP private payrolls for January, ahead of Thursday’s weekly initial jobless claims and then Friday’s widely-watched monthly payrolls report.

Euro retreats on soft inflation data

In Europe, EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.0829, after regional German and French consumer prices data pointed to falling inflation, increasing the possibility of the European Central Bank cutting interest rates earlier than expected.

French CPI fell 0.2% on the month in January, resulting in the annual rate falling to 3.1% from 3.7% in December.

The German CPI release is due later in the session, but the individual states have started reporting their figures. They have all indicated sharp falls in the annual figures, suggesting inflation is on the retreat in the eurozone’s dominant economy.

At the same time, German retail sales slumped 1.6% on the month in December as consumers remained under pressure.

These figures “keep the door open for an April ECB rate cut,” ING added. “That is not our house view, but does mean that EUR/USD should end the week heading into Friday’s U.S. jobs data on the soft side.”

GBP/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.2683 ahead of the Bank of England's policy meeting on Thursday.

British house prices rose this month more than expected, with Nationwide Building Society stating house prices in January increased by 0.7% from the month before after being flat in December.

Yen set to hefty monthly drop

In Asia, USD/JPY fell 0.1% to 147.43, with the yen gaining slightly but set to drop almost 5% this month, heading for its largest monthly drop since June 2022 as the Bank of Japan maintained its ultra-easy monetary policy.

USD/CNY edged higher to 7.1759, with the yuan set to drop around 1% for the month, with China's manufacturing activity in January contracting for a fourth straight month.


Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.