Connect with us

Forex News

Dollar flat ahead of Fed decision; risk of hawkish push-back seen

Published

on

Dollar flat ahead of Fed decision; risk of hawkish push-back seen
© Reuters

By Geoffrey Smith

Investing.com — The dollar was flat in early trading on Wednesday in Europe, with the markets becalmed ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision later.

By 03:10 ET (08:10 GMT), the , which tracks the greenback against a basket of advanced economy currencies, was at $101.84, down less than 0.1% from Tuesday’s close. The was up 0.1% at $1.0875, while the was effectively flat at $1.2315.

The is expected to raise the fed funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 4.50-4.75%, after a 50 basis point rise in December and three hikes of 75 basis points in the meetings prior to that.

The Fed has slowed the pace at which it is raising rates in response to evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing down and that the peak in inflation has passed: the has fallen for six months in a row now but is still more than three times the Fed’s target of 2%.

A 25 basis point hike would bring the fed funds rate above the core rate of – which is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation – for the first time in the current cycle, finally fulfilling one of the definitions of a ‘restrictive’ monetary policy.

Analysts warn that the key event risk from the Fed meeting is that chairman Jerome Powell pushes back hard against increased speculation on a first rate cut later in the year. Powell and other Fed officials have repeatedly warned in recent weeks of the need to hold rates above 5% for some time in order to squeeze the inflationary pressure out of the U.S. economy.

“A push-back against a pivot and rate-cut speculation could hit risk assets and lift the dollar today,” ING’s Chris Turner warned in a note to clients. “We think that Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues simply have little interest in sending strong signals that they are indeed close to the peak, which only risks generating a premature fall in interest rates.”

The pound and euro are likewise trapped in pre-central bank mode, with the European Central Bank and the Bank of England both meeting on Thursday. data later are expected to be of limited impact, given that they will not include Germany, which has delayed publishing its figures due to a technical issue.

The is still expected to raise its Bank Rate by 50 basis points to 3.5%, despite a string of bleak economic data this week and another wave of public-sector strikes. Today’s strikes – expected to be the biggest in over a decade – will see some 200,000 public-sector staff from teachers to ambulance drivers walk out, demanding higher pay.

Earlier, mortgage lender Nationwide said its house price index fell for a fifth straight month, the longest sequence of declines since 2008.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Forex News

China wants weaker US dollar as reserve currency, says Biden economist nominee

Published

on

By

China wants weaker US dollar as reserve currency, says Biden economist nominee
© Reuters. Dr. Jared Bernstein testifies on his nomination to be Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2023. REUTERS/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – There was “some evidence” that China wants the dollar to weaken as the international reserve currency, said a White House nominee for a top economist position on Tuesday, and he urged Congress to raise the U.S. debt ceiling to protect the dollar’s value.

Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told a Senate Banking Committee hearing on his nomination to head the body that U.S. control of the world’s reserve currency offered a number of benefits, including the ability to impose sanctions, as Washington had done on Russia over its war against Ukraine.

Asked about an essay he published in the New York Times in 2014 entitled “Dethrone King Dollar” and whether the U.S. would be better off if it were to lose that status, Bernstein told the committee, “Definitely not.”

Bernstein, who wrote the piece while serving as a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said the essay was intended to show both the “very solid benefit” of having the world’s reserve currency, but also the costs, including the ability of China and other countries to manage their currencies to have a trade advantage.

Asked by Republican Senator Bill Haggerty where he stood now, Bernstein said, “I share your view on the importance of the dollar as the dominant reserve currency.”

Bernstein used the exchange to underscore the administration’s concerns about the looming deadline this June for Congress to raise the debt ceiling or risk default, and Republican efforts to condition that approval on budget cuts.

He said raising the debt ceiling would help maintain the dollar’s reserve currency status and protect its value. “Having that kind of kind of default out there as a political tool is antithetical to what you and I are talking about right now.”

While Bernstein did not elaborate on China, the U.S. Treasury in November found no major U.S. trading partners manipulated its exchange rates to gain unfair advantage through June 2022, but would monitor China and six other countries.

The Treasury report criticized China for not publishing foreign exchange intervention and lack of transparency around its exchange-rate mechanism. China has previously denied intervening to weaken the yuan.

Weak tax collections in April could mean the U.S. government’s deadline to raise the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling will happen sooner than expected, analysts said on Tuesday.

The Treasury Department has warned that the federal government might no longer be able to meet its financial obligations as early as June 5, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has forecast that moment would come between July and September.

Continue Reading

Forex News

Fed’s Bowman sees potential for interbank digital dollar

Published

on

By

Fed's Bowman sees potential for interbank digital dollar
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman gives her first public remarks as a Fed policymaker at an American Bankers Association conference in San Diego, California, U.S., February 11 2019. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – A so-called “wholesale” central bank digital currency could hold promise for the future settlement of certain financial market transactions and processing international payments, Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman said on Tuesday.

While a digital dollar could make sense for interbank transactions, there could be unintended consequences like disruptions to the banking system if the Fed were to design a central bank digital currency that would be directly available to the public, Bowman said in prepared remarks for an event at Georgetown University’s Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy.

The U.S. central bank has not yet said if it would embark on an effort to create a central bank digital currency, and has previously said it would seek authorization from Congress and the executive branch before doing so.

Continue Reading

Forex News

Dollar edges lower; Chinese growth data boosts risk sentiment

Published

on

By

Dollar edges lower; Chinese growth data boosts risk sentiment

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar slipped lower in early European trade Tuesday, handing back some of the overnight gains as healthy Chinese growth data boosted risk sentiment.

At 02:05 ET (06:05 GMT), the , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% lower at 101.707, after rising 0.5% overnight.

China’s post-COVID recovery appears to be firmly on track, after data released earlier Tuesday showed that the second largest economy in the world in the first quarter year-on-year, beating forecasts for 4% growth, and registering a sharp acceleration from the previous quarter’s 2.9% reading.

Additionally, surged more than 10%, hitting a near two-year high, reinforcing hopes that the country’s post-pandemic recovery remains on course.

This news has boosted optimism about the global economic recovery, to the detriment of the safe-haven dollar.

The greenback had traded higher on Monday after data showed that increased for the first time in five months, lifting expectations that the will hike interest rates again at its next meeting in May.

“With the market conditions continuing to settle a little … it seems likely now that the Federal Reserve will deliver one last 25bp hike in May and then hit the pause button to wait on the effects of tighter credit conditions caused by the March banking turmoil,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

rose 0.1% to 1.0941, below the one-year high of 1.1075 it touched last week although the is widely expected to continue hiking interest rates this year with inflation still significantly higher than its inflation goal.

The ECB can discuss changing its 2% inflation goal but only after it brings down inflation to that level, President Christine Lagarde said on Monday.

rose 0.2% to 1.2392, after the rose to 3.8% in February, from 3.7%, a weaker result than expected. However, the is still expected to hike interest rates by another 25 basis points at its meeting next month with inflation remaining highly elevated.

Elsewhere, rose 0.5% to 0.6732 as the of the Reserve Bank’s recent meeting showed that the bank may yet hike interest rates further, despite a pause in April. 

fell 0.1% to 134.31, while dropped 0.1% to 6.8716, benefiting from the strong Chinese growth data.

Continue Reading

Trending