The U.S. dollar edged higher to a one-month high versus a basket of currencies on June 15. Inflation data helped to boost the world’s reserve currency. The greenback kept firm as another hot reading on inflation overshadowed a chilly consumer price index.
Another factor also helped the greenback. Traders are waiting for the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting for hints of plans to start tapering its bond purchases.
On Tuesday, data showed U.S. retail sales fell more than expected in May. Spending rotated from back to services from goods as vaccinations allow Americans to shake off Covid-19 restrictions. But robust demand is outpacing supply, stoking inflation, with producer index for final demand rose 0.8% in May.
The dollar index was 0.3% higher at 90.515, after rising as high as 90.677, its highest point since May 14.
The pound fell to a one-month low against the U.S. dollar on June 15 in what analysts said was the breaking of a technical level that didn’t change the bullish narrative on the British currency. The pound was last down 0.19% against the dollar.
Dollar and Fed’s two-day meeting
The Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting will end on June 16. Analysts, as well as investors, are waiting for the outcome of the central bank’s meeting. So far Fed officials, led by central bank’s Chair Jerome Powell have said inflationary pressures are transitory.
The country’s central bank is reluctant to change its monetary policy. The European Central Bank (ECB) also maintained a dovish tone as it met and handed down its policy decision during the previous week.
The situation is far more complicated than it might appear at the first glance. Recent economic data raised concerns that price pressure could force the central bank to change its position.
The dollar could struggle if the Federal Reserve sticks to its low rates for a longer outlook. But any material change in the outlook for interest rates that pencils in a sooner rate increase could support the greenback.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin lingered just above the $40,000 level on Tuesday. One day earlier, it climbed above that mark for the first time in more than two weeks, aided by fresh investment from MicroStrategy. Bitcoin’s biggest corporate investor raised $500 million in bonds. The company plans to buy even more bitcoin with the money it raised this month. Elon Musk’s tweet also helped to boost the price of bitcoin.