Mon, January 30, 2023

The Dollar Gains Ground

dollar

The dollar edged up in quiet trading on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s policy decision next week, while the euro traded just below a nine-month high.

The euro was 0.26% lower against the dollar, trading at $1.086, down from $1.093 on Friday, its highest level since early May.

Meanwhile, the dollar was down 0.32% against the yen, trading at 129.74 yen per dollar after hitting an 8-month low of 127.22 on January 16.

These expectations have caused the dollar index, which rose in response to Fed rate hikes last year, to fall more than 11% from its 20-year high of 114.78 in September.

On Wednesday, the index rose 0.12% to 102.04. The pound fell 0.25% to $1.231.

Traders anticipate the Fed raising rates by 25 basis points (bps) next Wednesday, down from a 50 bps increase in December. Before that, investors will look at fourth-quarter economic growth figures for the United States, which are due on Thursday.

In contrast, business activity in the United States fell for the seventh consecutive month in January, though the decline in manufacturing and services moderated for the first time since September.

Other Currencies

In other news, the Australian dollar hit a five-month high on Wednesday after inflation data came in hotter than expected. The Australian dollar was last up 0.63% to $0.709.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar fell 0.54% to $0.647 after annual inflation of 7.2% in the fourth quarter fell short of the central bank’s 7.5% forecast.

The dollar was little changed against the Canadian dollar ahead of the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate decision at 1500 GMT Wednesday, purchasing C$1.337.

Sterling was in focus in early trade after producer price inflation data came in significantly lower than expected, implying that the recent collapse in natural gas prices has finally filtered through to the manufacturing sector. In December, input prices fell 1.1%, lowering the annual rate to 16.5% from 19.2%, the lowest in ten months. Meanwhile, PPI output prices fell by only 0.8%, indicating that businesses can still defend their profit margins despite a weakening economy.

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