Dollar soft after cooler U.S inflation data, eyes on Fed By Reuters

Home » Dollar soft after cooler U.S inflation data, eyes on Fed By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. one hundred dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration taken in Seoul February 7, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won/File Photo

By Ankur Banerjee and Alun John

SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar was trading near its weakest levels in months against the euro and pound on Wednesday after sliding overnight on cooler-than-expected inflation data which fuelled bets the Federal Reserve will outline a slower rate hike path.

After delivering four consecutive 75 basis point (bp) hikes, the U.S. central bank is widely expected to increase interest rates by 50 bp as it concludes its two-day meeting on Wednesday.

Traders will then turn their focus to Thursday meetings of the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, where consensus is also for a 50 bp rate hike.

The euro was steady against the dollar at $1.0642, not far off a six-month intraday high of $1.0673 it touched in the previous session after U.S. CPI data.

The pound, which also hit a six month high after the U.S. figures, was flat at $1.2376 after a brief dip when British inflation data too showed a sharper than expected fall.

But year-on-year inflation of 10.7%, compared to a predicted 10.9%, remains painfully high for British consumers.

U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected for a second straight month in November, with underlying consumer prices advancing by the least in 15 months, Tuesday's report from the Labor Department showed.

That data served to reinforce existing expectations that the Fed will slow the pace of its rate increase to 50 bp, and so the main focus of Wednesday's meeting will be the Fed's quarterly ‘dot plot', which shows where policymakers expect rates to be at the end of each year, and remarks by chair Jerome Powell.

An increase in the median ‘dot' for the level at the end of 2023 from the 4.625% projection at end September is widely expected, but a key question is how much it will rise by.

“The extent of the uptick revision will matter for rates and USD,” said Christopher Wong, a currency strategist at OCBC in Singapore

“A revision higher than median of 5.125% may be interpreted as hawkish and could weigh on sentiment and halt the dollar's decline. But if it turns out that despite the hawkish talk and there is only slight uptick to median, then the USD may face more selling pressure.”

The , which measures the greenback versus six major currencies, was down a touch at 103.91, having made a six-month low of 103.57 in the wake of the inflation data.

It has fallen 9% since hitting a 20-year high in September as expectations of high and rising U.S. interest rates, which fuelled dollar gains, have started to ease.

The dollar was at 135.27 yen, down 0.2% after sliding 1.5% on Tuesday, and at 0.9277 Swiss francs, down a whisker having fallen to an eight-month low of 0.9230 on Tuesday.


Currency bid prices at 0906 GMT

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change



$1.0642 $1.0630 +0.11% -6.39% +1.0645 +1.0619


135.2750 135.5050 -0.16% +17.62% +135.7250 +135.2300


143.98 144.16 -0.12% +10.48% +144.2600 +143.8700


0.9277 0.9286 -0.08% +1.72% +0.9296 +0.9271


1.2376 1.2365 +0.07% -8.50% +1.2381 +1.2345


1.3540 1.3544 -0.03% +7.09% +1.3574 +1.3536


0.6867 0.6858 +0.15% -5.52% +0.6870 +0.6822


Dollar/Dollar 0.6446 0.6463 -0.29% -5.84% +0.6464 +0.6434

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