According to a Reuters report on July 11th, the US dollar experienced a decline following indications from Federal Reserve officials that the central bank is nearing the conclusion of its tightening cycle. However, the dollar traded within a narrow range as market participants awaited a crucial US inflation report.
Several officials from the Federal Reserve stated on Monday that the central bank will likely need to further increase interest rates to reduce persistently high inflation. Nevertheless, they also suggested that the end of the current monetary policy tightening cycle is approaching. These comments caused the greenback to drop to a two-month low of 101.88 against a basket of currencies during early Asia trade. Traders scaled back their expectations regarding the extent of future US interest rate hikes. Since the Federal Reserve initiated its tightening cycle last year, expectations regarding US interest rates have significantly influenced the dollar's performance.
On the other hand, the British pound reached a new 15-month high of $1.2869, while the euro experienced a slight increase of 0.03% to $1.1004.
Carol Kong, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, stated, "The FOMC speak was the main focus of yesterday, and officials who spoke reiterated the recent message that a couple more rate hikes are likely in coming months, so not really a surprise there." Market attention has now shifted to the US inflation data to be released on Wednesday, as it will provide further clarity on the Federal Reserve's progress in combating persistently high consumer prices.
A survey conducted by the New York Federal Reserve revealed a decline in near-term inflation expectations among Americans. Last month, they expressed expectations of the weakest near-term inflation gains in over two years. Kong added, "If we do get a strong CPI report (tomorrow), that may help market pricing for a second rate hike from the FOMC (after July) and drive the dollar a little bit higher. But I don't think any upside will be material given the fact that we are near the top of the FOMC tightening cycle."
The Japanese yen strengthened to a nearly one-month high of 141.15 per dollar on Tuesday and was last traded at 141.43 per dollar. This rise was supported by a decline in US Treasury yields. The dollar/yen pair is particularly sensitive to US yields, as Japanese interest rates remain close to zero.
In other currency movements, the Australian dollar increased by 0.16% to $0.6687, while the New Zealand dollar rose by 0.06% to $0.6216. However, the gains of these two Antipodean currencies against the dollar were limited due to concerns about China's struggling economic recovery. Both currencies are often seen as liquid proxies for the Chinese yuan. In the offshore market, the yuan experienced a marginal increase, reaching 7.2254 per dollar.
Data released on Monday showed that China's producer prices declined at the fastest pace in over seven years in June, while consumer prices were on the verge of deflation. Macquarie strategists noted, "China's year-over-year CPI and PPI data for June, which came in below expectations and points to China's ongoing struggle with deflation in the absence of strong aggregate demand. For traders to get positive on China, it seems that nothing short of a forceful stimulus program will be needed."