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Dollar edges higher, with all eyes on the Federal Reserve

Published 05/01/2023, 02:04 AM
Updated 05/01/2023, 02:14 AM
© Reuters.

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar edged higher in early holiday-impacted European trade Monday, at the start of a week that includes policy-setting meetings from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, as well as the monthly U.S. jobs report.

At 02:05 ET (06:05 GMT), the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.2% higher at 101.570.

The week’s highlight will be the conclusion of the latest meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which is expected to increase the benchmark lending rate target by another 25 basis points on Wednesday – the 10th consecutive increase going back to March of last year.

However, this could prove to be the end of the Fed’s tightening cycle as last week’s first-quarter growth figures pointed to an economy that’s slowing quite rapidly.

Additionally, the end of the week sees the release of the monthly U.S. jobs report, which is expected to show the economy added 180,000 jobs. While still a solid number it would mark a third consecutive month of moderating jobs growth.

With the European Central Bank and the Bank of England expected to be more aggressive than the Fed in coming months, speculators boosted their net bearish position on the greenback against major peers to the most since June 2021, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed late last week.

The European Central Bank also meets this week, on Thursday, with the policymakers also expected to sanction another rate hike, although the size of the increase remains in doubt.

Tuesday’s data on euro zone consumer price inflation could be the deciding factor, with underlying price pressures likely to remain uncomfortably high, pointing towards a rate hike of 50 basis points.

However, if bank lending data shows credit conditions have tightened substantially, the case for a smaller rate hike would be bolstered.

“The ECB's dilemma will be between sticky core inflation that calls for more rate hikes, and recent events in the banking sector that call for gradualism,” said analysts at Morgan Stanley, in a note.

“The solution, in our view, will be a compromise, featuring a 25bp hike and a reactivation of rate forward guidance, tightly linked to incoming data.”

EUR/USD fell 0.1% to 1.1006, with activity likely to be limited given the majority of Europe is enjoying the Labor Day holiday.

GBP/USD fell 0.2% to 1.2553, in a quiet week in the U.K., with officials entering a blackout period before their decision on May 11.

AUD/USD rose 0.4% to 0.6635, USD/JPY rose 0.5% to 136.94, while USD/CNY traded largely flat at 6.9121.

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