Dollar edges up as Fed’s Waller cautions on inflation
The U.S. dollar steadied on Monday amid fading expectations of a less aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hike after Governor Christopher Waller said the central bank was not softening its fight against inflation.
A modest miss on U.S. inflation on Thursday put pressure on the dollar, which declined almost 4% in a week, marking its worst week in more than two and half years.
But Waller said on Sunday that the inflation print last week was “just one data point” and that other similar readings would be needed to show convincingly that inflation was slowing.
Waller did add, however, that the Fed could now start thinking about hiking at a slower pace.
“I think the market got a little bit ahead of itself,” said Carol Kong, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:CMWAY), adding the market can expect more reality checks from Fed officials, which would help the dollar to recoup more ground.
U.S. inflation will likely remain high and keep the Fed on its monetary tightening path, Kong said.
The U.S two-year yield, which reflects rate move expectations, edged up to 4.39%, after diving as low as 4.29% on Friday, while the U.S. 10-year yield was up 6 basis points at 3.87%, having fallen to a one month low on Friday.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies including the yen, euro and sterling, edged up 0.1% to 106.85, edging off the nearly three month low of 106.27 touched on Friday.
Sterling fell ahead of the British Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Thursday, where he is expected to set out tax rises and spending cuts. The pound was down 0.4% at $1.1787, having risen 4% in the previous two sessions.
Cryptocurrencies remained under pressure from ongoing turmoil after the fall of crypto exchange FTX. FTX’s native token, FTT, was last down 2.4% at $1.38, taking its month-to-date losses to nearly 95%.
Bitcoin fell 0.5% slipping below $16,680.
China’s onshore yuan rose to a near two-month high against the dollar, after the central bank lifted its official guidance fixing by the most since 2005 when Beijing abandoned the currency’s decade-old peg against the greenback.
The yuan’s rally coincided with a broad lift in Chinese market sentiment on official moves to help the embattled property sector and the government’s decision to ease some of the country’s strict COVID-19 restrictions.
Elsewhere, the Japanese yen weakened 0.9% versus the greenback to 140 per dollar, while the euro was down 0.2% at $1.0324.
The risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars slipped, giving up some gains made after China moderated its zero COVID strategy.