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Dollar Gains Ahead of Powell's Testimony; U.K. CPI Hits 40-Year High

Forex Jun 22, 2022 03:04AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar pushed higher in early European trade Wednesday with Fed Chair Jerome Powell expected to talk tough on inflation during his testimony to Congress, while sterling fell in wake of more elevated inflation data.

At 03:05 a.m. ET (0705 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.4% higher at 104.650.

Wednesday's main event is the start of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's two-day testimony to Congress, with investors looking for further clues about whether another 75 basis point rate hike is on the cards at the Fed's July meeting.

“The next big dollar input will be when Fed Chair Jerome Powell delivers his semi-annual monetary policy testimony to the Senate - which judging from the latest FOMC meeting should be pretty hawkish and means that any dollar downside [...] is likely to be limited,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

The Fed is poised to deliver another large rate hike at its next meeting in July, and Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said on Tuesday that Powell’s guidance that the U.S. central bank will most likely raise interest rates by 50 or 75 basis points in July is "reasonable."

Also helping the dollar was the news that President Biden was looking at a temporary tax holiday on gasoline, with the U.S. government set to use its fiscal leeway to ease some of the consumer pain felt by high energy prices. 

“Looser fiscal policy could provide more room for central bankers to ride out the inflation storm with higher rates and a loose fiscal, tight monetary policy mix is generally good news for a currency,” said ING.

EUR/USD fell 0.5% to 1.0473, the risk-sensitive AUD/USD dropped 1.1% to 0.6895, while USD/JPY fell 0.2% to 136.31, having hit 136.71 in early trade, its highest since October 1998, with the yen weighed by the ever-widening gap between yields on Japanese government bonds and U.S. Treasuries.

Minutes from the last Bank of Japan policy meeting, released earlier Wednesday, showed that some board members were concerned about the yen's sharp declines, but they still stressed the need to maintain the BOJ's massive stimulus program to support a still-fragile economy.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD fell 0.7% to 1.2191 after inflation in Britain rose to a new 40-year high of 9.1% in May, fueled by a jump in costs for food and energy.

The Bank of England hiked interest rates for the fifth consecutive meeting last week, but this has done little so far to temper the soaring inflation, with the central bank predicting last week that inflation could reach as high as 11% in October.

Worries are growing that the country is heading towards recession, with growth weighed by a combination of high rates of inflation and increasing interest rates to combat this.

Dollar Gains Ahead of Powell's Testimony; U.K. CPI Hits 40-Year High
 

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Comments (2)
Rehan Khan
Rehan Khan Jun 22, 2022 4:22AM ET
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francislimwei
Francis Lim Wei
Francis Lim Wei Jun 22, 2022 4:00AM ET
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I hope Powell and FED team will be successful in combating inflation and rising crude oil prices. at 120 price levels economies around the world felt inflations and diminishing income utilities, at 110 central banks around the world starts to hike interest rates for protectionism, bonds housing loans and equities start to fail. I pray we never visit these two crude oil ranges ever again in our life. godbless Powell
John Doe
John Doe Jun 22, 2022 4:00AM ET
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It won't help. The Fed was pumping dollars into the US economy and dumping extra money on the rest of the world to avoid inflation. Thus, most US companies simply cannot be profitable without the dope of quantitative easing.The only way to reduce inflation pace is to cancel all the restrictios and sanctions to revive free market and supply.
Francis Lim Wei
Francis Lim Wei Jun 22, 2022 4:00AM ET
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on the macro side tax relief and reversals have to be done according to Keynesian economics , on the other hand oil the key driver to all commodities and consumer products must fall. Inflations can be resolved when oil prices falls equities will be saved, as a result many economies are reliefed but ultimately because of the rise of FED interest rates stagflation stands a high possibility. the faster crude oil is subdued the faster we see the effects of reliefs. QE done in 2008 now stands at 8.4trillion it will be bad for equities from now as FED clears their balance sheet on a monthly pace of 94billion. US nation debt cannot be resolved overnight but inflation can be relief by targeting on crude oil prices to relief consumers and businesses to spur GDP. If crude prices are not subdued we will see a global recession in our lifetime it will be a bubble worst than 2008 , FED sees and they are preventing that from happening
Francis Lim Wei
Francis Lim Wei Jun 22, 2022 4:00AM ET
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over the next few months we should see surplus in oil demands pushing prices lower. it's not a normal trading session but a combat with the FED to prevent few bubbles from busting driven by cheap dollars printed in 2008. mainly the housing bubble, inflation ,equities bubble etc a rise in USD will only make goods more expensive and commerce less attractive. FED will have to strike a balance and I support their decisions by joining to sell crude oil to lower inflations
 
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