The dollar slipped on Monday towards a three-week low as Treasury yields traded near recent lows and traders awaited crucial U.S. inflation and retail sales data in coming days.
Elsewhere, it was a quiet start to a data-heavy week for foreign exchange markets. The euro climbed back above $1.19 while the British pound rebounded from a two-month low.
The dollar’s performance has been tied to U.S. Treasury yields for most of 2021, after concern about rising inflation in the United States and a stimulus-fueled economic rebound triggered a jump in Treasury yields in February.
A fall in U.S. yields last week triggered the worst week for the dollar in 2021. With yields inching lower on Monday, it was back under pressure.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in a U.S. media interview released on Sunday that the U.S. economy was at “an inflection point” and looked set for a strong rebound in the coming months, but he also warned of risks stemming from a hasty re-opening.
Investors are now waiting for U.S. March inflation data due on Tuesday.
“We are set to see the first evidence of the much anticipated surge in inflation that is widely expected through the coming months as base effects from a year ago begin to take effect as the sharp declines post-COVID start to fall out of the annual calculations,” MUFG analysts said.
They said the dollar’s fortunes could well “remain linked to 10-year yields”.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.664% after dropping to as low as 1.6170% last week. It had surged to a more than a one-year high of 1.7760% on March 30.
The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of currencies, weakened 0.2% to 92.03. The euro initially dropped but later recovered and was up 0.1% to $1.1915.
Bitcoin traded above $60,000, closing the gap to its record high.
Against the pound the dollar initially gained before reversing course. The British currency was last up 0.5% at $1.3763 after briefly touching a two-month low of $1.3669 as traders cheered the latest phase of the government’s economic re-opening plan.
The dollar fell 0.3% to 109.33 yen versus the Japanese currency.
U.S. dollar net short positions have fallen to their lowest in nearly three years, according to data published on Friday.
ING analysts noted that speculators had cut their net short dollar positions for the 12th consecutive week, which could prove a headwind for further dollar gains.
“At this stage, the dollar has lost all its positioning “advantage”, having a neutral speculative positioning, which suggests we should no longer see dollar rallies against most G10 currencies exacerbated by the unwinding of USD shorts,” they wrote.
U.S Dollar Jumps to Three Weeks High on Better Than Expected Retail Sales
The United States Dollar rose to a three-week high after data from the Commerce Department showed that the U.S retail sales rebounded in the month of August despite falling consumer confidence.
The US Dollar Index rose to 93.40 on Monday to extend Friday breakout above the 93.00 key resistance level.
U.S retail sales jumped to its highest in five months in the month of August to beat 0.8 percent decline predicted by experts. Retail sales grew by 0.7 percent in August to increase the odds of the US Federal Reserve announcing tapering during next week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
“U.S. consumption is not slowing as quickly as it appeared a month ago despite the fading stimulus, and the Delta variant did not much affect the industries feeding into retail sales,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial in New York. “The economy continued to hum in August.”
Against the Japanese Yen, the U.S dollar strengthened to 109.48 from 109.91 attained on Friday on broad-based selloff during London trading session, while heavy selloff plunged British pound against the U.S dollar 1.36610 before reboundling slightly to 1.36946.
The Euro dropped from 1.17883 recorded on Friday to 1.16995 on Monday during London trading session.
Dollar Drops to One Week Low on Monday After U.S Consumer Sentiment Plunges to Lowest in 10 Years
The United States Dollar declined to a week-low against most currencies on Monday after dropping the most in seven weeks on Friday after a report showed U.S consumer sentiment dropped to the lowest since 2011 amid rising COVID-19 infections.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six counterparts, changed slightly at 92.528, still maintaining a 0.50 percent decline posted at the end of last week.
However, the U.S Dollar dipped to 109.455 against the Japanese yen on Monday, its lowest since August 5, 2021. Against the euro common currency, the dollar was largely flat at $1.17960, near a week low of $1.18045 it closed on Friday.
“Does the survey signal an imminent turn in the U.S. economy? We doubt it given vaccine efficacy remains high and the hit to sentiment likely means more people will get vaccinated,” Tapas Strickland, an analyst at National Australia Bank, wrote in a client note. “Instead, the Delta surge in the U.S. is more a case of delay rather than derail as far as the recovery is concerned.”
Against the Nigerian Naira, the U.S Dollar traded exchanged at N515 on Monday at the parallel market popularly known as the black market. At the bureau de change section, the U.S. dollar was sold at N513 and N410.11 by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Dollar Firm as Traders Brace for U.S. Inflation Data
The U.S. dollar held near multi-month highs on Friday as investors warily awaited U.S. inflation data, while the pound nursed modest losses after Bank of England (BoE) policymakers leaned away from flagging rate rises.
Early Asia trade was steady, with the euro pinned below its 200-day moving average at $1.1930 and the yen just short of a 15-month low at 110.955 per dollar.
The dollar vaulted to its highest levels since March against the euro last week – and to its highest since March 2020 on the yen – after the U.S. Federal Reserve surprised markets by projecting interest rate rises sooner than expected in 2023.
Subsequent rhetoric from Fed chair Jerome Powell seems to have calmed nerves in bond and stock markets about hikes any time soon, but the dollar has held its gains and traders are wary of further rises if inflation is hotter than forecast.
Economists polled by Reuters expect core personal consumption expenditures index to post year-on-year gains of 3.4%, a rise even faster than the nearly three-decade high pace of 3.1% recorded last month. The data is due at 1230 GMT.
“The dollar can jump if inflation surprises to the upside,” said Joe Capurso, head of international economics at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. “Upside inflation surprises have been the trend in the U.S. recently,” he said.
The stronger dollar has kept other majors in check through the week, even against currencies where rate rises are likely to land sooner than in the United States.
The New Zealand dollar has crept back above its 200-day moving average to $0.7063, but it remains well shy of February highs above 74 cents. In Australia, despite booming terms of trade, the Aussie held at $0.7584.
“A more balanced dollar outlook prevails after the Fed’s decisive policy shift,” Westpac strategist Sean Callow said.
“The Australian dollar’s strong support from commodity prices produces fair value estimates in the mid-0.80s,” he said.
“Yet recent price action has been in the mid-0.70s. With risk appetite looking resilient, any narrowing in this gap probably depends on how far the (Fed)-inspired U.S. dollar recovery can extend.”
The U.S. dollar index was steady at 91.833, off a week-ago high of 92.408 but clear of troughs below 90 that it had plumbed in May.
Sterling had started to move away from its post-Fed lows, but was the weakest G10 currency overnight and fell 0.3% after the BoE failed to provide any hint it was in a hurry to hike rates and warned against “premature tightening”.
“Some in the market obviously positioned for a less dovish or a hawkish tilt,” said Tapas Strickland, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank.
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