Dollar slips lower after mixed CPI data; sterling helped by GDP growth

Dollar slips lower after mixed CPI data; sterling helped by GDP growth

At 04:25 ET (09:25 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded flat at 102.022, down from Thursday’s high of 102.76 but well ahead of the five-month low of 100.61 hit in December. 

U.S. consumer prices edged 0.3% higher in December, data released Thursday showed, up an annual 3.4%, ahead of expectations for a 0.2% gain and 3.2% rise, respectively.

However, the dollar received little support from this as ‘core’ CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, fell again, suggesting underlying inflation remains in retreat.

Fed officials have tried to play down the likelihood of early interest rate cuts, with Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester saying on Thursday that the latest CPI figures means that it would likely be too soon for the central bank to cut its policy rate in March.

However, the majority of traders still expect the Fed to begin cutting rates as soon as March.

“A March rate cut is still over 60% priced in, and we still see short-term vulnerability for risk assets from a hawkish repricing,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

Attention now turns to the release of U.S. producer prices later in the session, with PPI expected to rise 0.1% on the month in December, an annual rise of just 1.3%.  

In Europe, GBP/USD rose 0.1% to 1.2775 after data released earlier Friday showed that Britain’s economy grew slightly more strongly than expected in November, with the country’s gross domestic product rising 0.3% on the month, beating forecasts for a 0.2% expansion.

Industrial and manufacturing production both expanded in November, after sharp retreats the prior month, raising hope for the country’s economy, one of the weakest in Europe. 

EUR/USD edged 0.1% higher to 1.0975, with French and Spanish inflation data confirmed at 3.7% and 3.1%, respectively, on an annual basis.

“EUR/USD was rejected at the 1.1000 key resistance level,” ING said, and “we now expect some more days of rangebound trading, with some modest downside risks.”

Elsewhere, USD/CNY fell 0.1% to 7.1622, after Chinese inflation and trade data signaled some signs of recovery in Asia’s largest economy in December. CPI inflation rose slightly month-on-month, while exports grew more than expected.

USD/JPY traded 0.2% lower to 145.02, after recovering sharply against the dollar on Thursday. Markets still expect the Bank of Japan to reiterate its ultra-dovish stance later this month.

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