The U.S. dollar held steady on Wednesday as traders awaited this week’s consumer price data to see if it would confirm that inflation is slowing.
The euro fell against the dollar after a policymaker for the European Central Bank (ECB) declared that the cycle of interest rate hikes was coming to an end. Moreover, ECB staff published an article arguing that strong wage pressures are likely in the upcoming quarters.
Mario Centeno, a member of the ECB’s governing council, predicted that inflation would decline in March and that the process of monetary tightening was about to end on Tuesday as traders awaited U.S. inflation data to help solidify Fed interest rate hike expectations.
The euro flattened at $1.0732, remaining near its seven-month high against the dollar. Investors are starting to expect a weaker dollar and easing inflation as the need for further interest rate increases diminishes. This has caused the dollar to lose nearly 12% of its value against the euro since it reached a 20-year high in September.
The Outlook for The Global Economy Is Gloomy
The U.S. Fed continues to signal rate hikes. The euro has struggled to advance further in the past month, and traders have been cautious in selling dollars. Futures pricing has been choppy, but it appears that markets are leaning toward a 3/4 chance of a quarter-point increase next month.
The dollar index gained 0.15% against a basket of currencies, reaching 103.42.
The re-opening of China has also boosted sentiment and lifted Asian currencies against the U.S. dollar.
On Wednesday, the Chinese yuan fell just short of a five-month high, closing at 6.7737.
In anticipation of increased tourism, as China’s borders open, the Singapore dollar has reached 19-month highs this week. Moreover, the Thai baht has reached nine-month highs.
Australian data revealed that annual inflation increased to 7.311% in November, opening the door for further rate hikes. Hence, the Australian dollar increased by 0.12% to $0.6900.
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