Home Forex News Asia FX steady as dollar drops amid rate cut speculation; Indian rupee surges

Asia FX steady as dollar drops amid rate cut speculation; Indian rupee surges


Investing.com– Most Asian currencies steadied on Monday, recouping some recent losses against the dollar after in-line inflation data pushed up expectations for interest rate cuts and sparked steep declines in the greenback. 

The Indian rupee was a standout performer among its peers, strengthening sharply after exit polls for the 2024 general election pointed to a third consecutive win for the incumbent BJP party. 

Anticipation of potential interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Canada this week also saw traders favor risk-driven assets. 

But gains in regional currencies were held back by persistent caution over U.S. interest rates, especially in anticipation of key U.S. labor data and a Federal Reserve meeting. 

Dollar nurses losses after PCE data reads as expected

The dollar index and dollar index futures both fell slightly in Asian trade on Monday after clocking steep losses on Friday.

Losses in the greenback came as PCE price index data- which is the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge- cooled as expected in April, albeit slightly.

The reading sparked some expectations that the Fed will begin cutting rates in September. Traders were seen pricing in a 47% chance for a 25 basis point cut in September, along with a 45% chance for a hold, according to the CME Fedwatch tool.

But these expectations will be tested in the coming days, with key nonfarm payrolls data due this Friday and a Fed meeting due next week. 

Most Asian currencies were muted on this notion. The Japanese yen’s USDJPY pair hovered above 157, also reeling from weaker-than-expected capital spending data.

The Australian dollar’s AUDUSD pair fell 0.1%, while the Singapore dollar’s USDSGD pair moved little. 

The South Korean won’s USDKRW pair fell 0.3%, while the Chinese yuan’s USDCNY pair rose 0.1%.

The yuan somewhat lagged its peers after mixed purchasing managers index data. Private PMI data on Monday showed the country’s manufacturing sector expanded in May, contrasting with government PMI data from last week which showed a contraction in the sector.

Indian rupee firms amid election watch, USDINR slides 

The Indian rupee was a standout performer among its Asian peers on Monday, with the USDINR pair- which gauges the number of rupees needed to buy one dollar- sinking 0.5% to 83.059 rupees.

Exit polls showed the NDA alliance, led by the BJP, was set to largely sweep the 2024 elections, presenting a third consecutive term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Investors have largely cheered the BJP’s business-first measures over the past five years, which sparked outsized growth in the Indian economy. 

Focus this week is also on a Reserve Bank of India meeting


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