Dollar slips after Chinese rate cut boosts risk-taking; U.S. CPI in focus

Dollar slips after Chinese rate cut boosts risk-taking; U.S. CPI in focus

At 03:15 ET (07:15 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.3% lower to 102.888, falling to levels last seen in mid-May.

USD/CNY rose 0.1% to 7.1548, with the yuan retreating to a six-month low after the People’s Bank of China cut its seven-day reverse repo rate by 10 basis points to 1.90% from 2.00%, its first such rate cut since the bank trimmed its Loan Prime Rate in August 2022.

This has been taken as a sign that the Chinese authorities are determined to maintain a loose monetary policy in an attempt to boost the country’s flagging recovery from its COVID hit, boosting risk sentiment globally at the wider expense of the safe-haven dollar.

Focus now turns to the latest release of U.S. consumer prices later Tuesday, which is expected to show inflation cooled slightly in May and could give the Fed room to pause its aggressive rate-hike cycle when it announces its interest rate decision on Wednesday.

Analysts expect prices for May to rise 4.1% over the year, a slowing in pace from the 4.9% growth in April, while core prices, which strip out volatile food and energy, are expected to rise 5.3% for the year, down from 5.5%.

The dollar could have difficulty appreciating much in the near future, if the view of investment management company PIMCO is widespread.

“There’s no guarantee that we’re going to be short the dollar all the time, but today, (in) positioning we have dollar underweights versus G10 and EM (emerging markets),” Andrew Balls, chief investment officer for fixed income at the $1.8 trillion asset manager said Monday.

“My guess is on average, we’re going to have that over the next couple of years.”

EUR/USD rose 0.3% to 1.0793, after German consumer prices were confirmed at 6.1% on the year for May.

This represents a fall in the annual rate from 7.2% the prior month but is unlikely to stop the European Central Bank lifting its interest rates by 25 basis points again on Thursday.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD rose 0.4% to 1.2563, with Bank of England officials pointing to further interest rate hikes if inflation remains elevated.

“It’s important we continue to lean against the risks of inflation momentum, and therefore that further increases in interest rates cannot be ruled out,” Bank of England policymaker Jonathan Haskel wrote in a column published Monday. “

USD/JPY drifted lower to 139.53, with the Bank of Japan expected to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy later this week, while risk-sensitive AUD/USD rose 0.3% to 0.6774.

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