Dollar drifts higher; BOE continues raft of central bank meetings this week

Dollar drifts higher; BOE continues raft of central bank meetings this week

At 02:00 ET (06:00 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% higher to 101.935, just above its recent one-month low, although activity is likely to be limited with the U.S. markets closed on Monday for the Juneteenth holiday. 

The U.S. Federal Reserve led the parade of senior central banks meeting last week to discuss monetary policy, and, as expected, paused its year-long rate-hiking cycle to assess its impact on inflation and the country’s economic outlook.

The Fed also hinted at the likelihood of further rate increases ahead, with consumer prices still double its 2% target, but indicated the importance of upcoming economic data backing up these moves.

With this in mind, data on the U.S. housing market as well as initial jobless claims and the current account will be studied carefully this week, as well as Powell’s two-day semi-annual congressional testimony before both Congressional chambers.

Beyond Powell, several other Fed officials are also set to talk this week.

Elsewhere, EUR/USD fell 0.1% to 1.0935, close to a one-month peak, while USD/JPY fell 0.2% to 141.52, with the yen bouncing off a near seven-month low versus the dollar, having fallen 1% on Friday. 

The European Central Bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points on Thursday and left the door open to more hikes, while the Bank of Japan rounded off the week by remaining the major central bank outlier, keeping its ultra-easy monetary policy.

GBP/USD edged higher to 1.2824, with the release of the consumer price data on Wednesday likely to be the main driver of sentiment ahead of Thursday’s Bank of England meeting.

The BoE is widely expected to raise its main interest rate to 4.75% from 4.5% on Thursday, with the May CPI number expected to confirm that inflation in the U.K. remains more than four times above the central bank’s 2% medium-term target.

“We still think the rate of inflation is going to come down, but it’s taking a lot longer than expected,” Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said last week, after data showed that basic wages in the three months to April were 7.2% higher than a year earlier. 

Elsewhere, AUD/USD fell 0.2% to 0.6866, while USD/CNY rose 0.3% to 7.1468, with the yuan retreating as markets priced in a potential cut in the benchmark loan prime rate on Tuesday.

The People’s Bank of China cut two interest rates last week, and is now widely expected to cut its benchmark rate as it attempts to boost its flagging economy.

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