The dollar's value dropped to a 15-month low, signaling speculations of the Federal Reserve nearing the end of its rate hike cycle due to declining inflation. Reuters' report indicates that the dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against six major rivals, reached its lowest point since April 2022 at 99.71 during early Asian hours. The ongoing decline in the dollar index suggests that this week may be the worst performance since November.
Easing Inflation and Its Impact on the Dollar
In June, U.S. producer prices experienced minimal growth, and the yearly increase in producer inflation was the smallest in almost three years, according to recent data released on Thursday. These findings were followed by modest consumer price growth, further supporting the notion that the world's largest economy is entering a phase of easing inflation.
Currency strategist Carol Kong, from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney, stated, "Markets are generally pleased with the lower inflation data, as it aligns with the resilient labor market, creating a narrative of a soft landing for the U.S. economy." However, Kong maintains the belief that the United States may face a recession later in the year due to the impact of past and potential future interest rate hikes.
Market Expectations and Federal Reserve Outlook
Current market expectations indicate a 92% likelihood of a 25 basis point hike from the Federal Reserve later this month, as shown by the CME FedWatch tool. However, no further hikes are anticipated for the remainder of the year. Recent data on weekly jobless claims and producer prices suggest a supportive environment for a soft landing, according to Ryan Brandham, head of global capital markets, North America, at Validus Risk Management.
Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller expressed caution, stating that he is not ready to declare all clear on U.S. inflation and is in favor of additional rate hikes this year. Despite the encouraging trend of declining inflation, it is unlikely to be sufficient to sway the committee's decision.
Global Currency Movements
The Australian dollar experienced a slight decline of 0.16% to $0.688 following Michele Bullock's appointment as head of Australia's central bank, making her the first female governor as the bank undergoes a comprehensive reorganization. The euro reached a fresh 16-month high of $1.1229 during Asian trading hours before slightly retreating to $1.1222, while the pound traded at $1.3119, marking a 0.11% decrease for the day. Thursday saw the pound surpass $1.30 for the first time since April 2022. The Japanese yen strengthened by 0.23% to 137.71 per dollar, potentially achieving its most successful week against the dollar since January.
Cryptocurrency Market Highlights
Bitcoin experienced a marginal increase of 0.03% to $31,367.56, reaching near two-month highs of $31,818. Ethereum rose by 1.4% to $2,014.10. A U.S. judge ruled that Ripple Labs did not violate federal securities law by selling its XRP token on public exchanges.
In summary, the dollar's decline to a 15-month low suggests that the Federal Reserve may be nearing the end of its rate hike cycle due to easing inflation. The market remains cautiously optimistic, while speculations of a U.S. recession persist. Global currency movements reflect the impact of these developments, while cryptocurrencies demonstrate mixed performances.