Dollar climbs ahead of busy week for central banks

Dollar climbs ahead of busy week for central banks
Dollar climbs ahead of busy week for central banks
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Banknotes of Japanese yen and U.S. dollar are seen in this illustration picture taken September 23, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

By Rae Wee and Alun John

SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar advanced on Monday, regaining some ground lost earlier in the month, at the start of a week packed with data releases and central bank rate setting meetings, including by the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve.

Euro zone flash inflation and GDP numbers and details of the Japanese Ministry of Finance’s intervention, both due later on Monday, were the near term focuses.

The euro slid 0.5% to $0.9919, sterling lost 0.56% to $1.1549, and the dollar rose 0.57% against the Japanese yen to 148.2, as the weakness seen in the greenback earlier in the month continued to fade.

The dollar is set for a monthly decline in October – its first since May and only its second this year – on growing expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could signal a less aggressive future programme of rate hikes at its policy meeting that begins on Tuesday.

However, late last week this narrative ran out of steam, and it continued to struggle on Monday. “Markets have been kind of expecting a Fed pivot on monetary policy. I think that is too premature, given how resilient the economy has been and particularly how high inflation has been,” said Carol Kong, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:) (CBA).

Some slowing of rate hiking is also already in the price, and so MUFG analysts said “the Fed would have to send a clear signal that it plans to slow rate hikes and sound more cautious over the need for further tightening to trigger a further leg lower for the U.S. dollar in the week ahead.”

The Fed is expected to deliver another 75 basis point (bp) rate hike after the conclusion of the FOMC meeting on Wednesday.

As for Monday, investors were waiting for euro zone flash GDP and CPI data due at 1000 GMT after the European Central Bank last week raised rates by 75-bps as it continues to try to rein in red hot inflation.

ECB governing council member Klaas Knot said on Sunday the central bank’s next move in December is likely to be between 50 and 75 bps.

Eyes will also be on Japanese FX intervention figures for October, due at 1000 GMT after analysts said authorities appeared to have intervened to support the yen earlier in the month.

Elsewhere, the slumped after data released on Monday showed China’s factory activity unexpectedly fell in October, weighed by softening global demand and strict domestic COVID-19 curbs.

The dollar was last 0.68% higher against the yuan traded offshore at 7.31. [CNY/]

“We expect that the CNY will weaken further in the short term given the apparent weakness of the economy. Together with more COVID cases and expected lockdowns, it becomes even more difficult to be upbeat about the yuan,” said Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING.

Also on the week’s agenda is the Bank of England which will meet on Thursday, after a volatile period in British political and fiscal policies. A 75 bp rake hike is almost fully priced in.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is tending towards the dovish end of the spectrum and is expected to raise interest rates by a more modest 25 bp at its Tuesday meeting, even as inflation raced to a 32-year high last quarter.

The dollar was flat on the day at $0.6401.

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