US Dollar Steady as Resilient Economic Data Eases Recession Worries; Australian Dollar Slides on Inflation Slowdown

Dollar steady, Australian dollar slides on inflation slowdown. Market awaits Powell's comments. Japanese authorities face yen pressure.

Jun 28, 2023 - 00:30
Jun 28, 2023 - 00:30
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US Dollar Steady as Resilient Economic Data Eases Recession Worries; Australian Dollar Slides on Inflation Slowdown
US Dollar Steady as Resilient Economic Data Eases Recession Worries; Australian Dollar Slides on Inflation Slowdown

In the latest market developments, the U.S. dollar showed little change on Wednesday as robust economic data alleviated concerns about an impending recession, boosting risk sentiment. However, this also indicated the possibility of continued rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. Concurrently, the Australian dollar witnessed a sharp decline due to a slowdown in consumer inflation during May.

U.S. Economic Confidence Boosts Risk Sentiment:

Recent data revealed an upswing in U.S. consumer confidence for June, reaching its highest level in nearly one and a half years. Additionally, business spending remained solid in May, signaling a robust economy. These encouraging figures helped alleviate investor worries and supported a positive risk sentiment.

Federal Reserve's Tightening Policy:

Markets are currently pricing in a 77% likelihood of a 25 basis point rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month, as per the CME FedWatch tool. However, expectations for further hikes have diminished. The dollar, as measured by the dollar index, experienced a slight 0.029% increase to 102.53, after a marginal 0.24% overnight decline. Overall, the dollar index is set to record a monthly decline of around 1.5%.

Challenges for the Federal Reserve:

Rodrigo Catril, senior currency strategist at National Australia Bank, highlighted that U.S. data reflects "sectoral recessions" with different lags, making it challenging for the Federal Reserve to control inflation. He suggested that the data indicates the Fed's need to maintain a tightening policy.

Focus on Powell's Comments:

Investors will closely monitor comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the European Central Bank Forum in Sintra, Portugal. Powell's remarks are expected to provide insights into the future trajectory of interest rates. Carol Kong, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, anticipates Powell to reiterate his hawkish policy stance, although the impact on FOMC pricing is expected to be minimal.

Australian Dollar Slumps on Inflation Slowdown:

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar experienced a significant drop of 0.72% to $0.6637 following a decline in the country's consumer price inflation rate, which hit a 13-month low in May. The deceleration was primarily driven by a sharp pullback in fuel prices. Furthermore, a measure of core inflation also cooled, indicating that interest rates might not need to rise further in July.

Market Movements:

In other currency movements, the euro dipped 0.1% to $1.0948 after a 0.5% increase overnight, influenced by hawkish comments from European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde. The British pound was slightly down at $1.2734, experiencing a 0.09% decline during the day. The Japanese yen showed strength, strengthening by 0.16% to 143.81 against the dollar, albeit remaining close to the seven-month low of 144.18 reached on Tuesday.

Japanese Authorities Face Pressure:

Japanese authorities are currently under renewed pressure to counter the yen's decline, driven by market expectations that the Bank of Japan will maintain ultra-low interest rates, even as other central banks adopt tighter monetary policies to curb inflation. Analysts at CBA suggest that the Ministry of Finance may intervene in the foreign exchange market by purchasing yen, particularly due to the rapid pace of change.

Also Read: Dollar Strengthens, Pound at 14-Month High Ahead of Bank of England Decision

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