Home Forex News Dollar edges higher ahead of key Federal Reserve meeting

Dollar edges higher ahead of key Federal Reserve meeting


Investing.com – The U.S. dollar edged higher Wednesday, climbing towards its highest level in November ahead of the conclusion of the latest Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting.

At 04:00 ET (09:00 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% higher at 106.240, after earlier climbing as high as 106.380, near the 106.51 mark that would be the highest since Nov. 1. 

Does the Fed still see rate cuts this year?

The Federal Reserve concludes its latest two-day meeting later in the session, and is widely expected to keep interest rates at the elevated 5.25%-5.5% levels.

Progress towards the Fed’s 2.0% medium-term inflation target has somewhat stalled of late, as typified by Tuesday’s release of the Employment Cost Index, which rose at an elevated 4.2% rate on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter, matching the rise in the fourth quarter.

This has resulted in futures markets pricing in just a single quarter-point rate cut by year-end, from as many as five of those at the start of the year, with this hawkish leaning benefiting the dollar.

The main focus will be on what Chair Jerome Powell has to say in his news conference, particularly given the bank won’t be updating economic projections this time around.

Investors will be awaiting indications about whether the Fed still expects to cut interest rates at some stage this year.

Euro calm as inflation holds steady

In Europe, EUR/USD edged higher to 1.0669, trading in limited volumes with much of the European continent on holiday.

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Data released on Tuesday showed that eurozone inflation held steady at 2.4% in April, solidifying an already strong case for the European Central Bank to cut interest rates next month.

The ECB all but promised a rate cut on June 6, provided there is no nasty surprise in wage or price developments.

“The ECB’s governing council considers that if this inflation outlook is maintained, it would be appropriate to start reducing the current level of monetary policy tightening in June,” De Cos, who is also head of the Spanish central bank, said in the Bank of Spain’s annual report on Tuesday.

GBP/USD traded largely flat at 1.2491, in subdued trading.

As it currently stands, money markets currently fully price a first quarter-point Bank of England rate cut by its Aug. 1 meeting – with a roughly 50-50 chance of a move as soon as June 20.

Yen retreats; more intervention needed?

In Asia, USD/JPY rose 0.1% to 157.91, with the yen retreating even after suspected government intervention sparked a sharp rebound in the currency.

The pair is still way off the 34-year high of 160.245 seen at the start of the week, but the Japanese authorities will be concerned that the yen appears to be retreating once more, potentially forcing them to enter the market once more.

Other Asian currencies were muted, amid a mix of labor day holidays and caution before the Fed. 

AUD/USD rose 0.2% to 0.6482, with the Aussie dollar pair strengthening ahead of next week’s meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia

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The RBA could potentially offer up a hawkish stance following a stronger-than-expected inflation reading for the first quarter. 


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