Title: Dollar gains as markets reassess Fed rate hike bets
Aug 12, 2022 04:31AM ET
The dollar edged higher in early London trading on Friday, after hawkish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials pushed against the idea this week’s U.S. inflation data could prompt the central bank to slow down policy tightening.
The U.S. inflation data was lower than expected, boosting riskier assets such as equities and weakening the dollar, as markets interpreted it as an indication the Fed could be less aggressive in rate hikes.
But Fed officials made clear they would continue to tighten monetary policy. San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly said on Thursday she was open to the possibility of another 75 basis point (bp) hike in September to fight too-high inflation.
At 0744 GMT, the dollar index was up 0.2% on the day at 105.28, after four days of losses that have put it on track for a weekly decline of 1.2%.
The Japanese yen lost out to the dollar strength, with the dollar up 0.3% against the yen at 133.345.
Traders were pricing in around a 38.5% chance of a 75 bps Fed rate hike in September and a 61.5% chance of 50 bps.
The British pound was down 0.3% at $1.2175, having shown no reaction to data revealing UK GDP contracted by less than feared in June, even though an extra public holiday had been expected to cause a big drag.
The euro was down 0.2% at $1.0295. French inflation was up 6.8% year-on-year in July, while for Spain the figure was 10.8%, the highest since 1984, data showed.
The euro has been weighed down by Europe's struggles with the war in Ukraine, the hunt for non-Russian energy sources, and a hit to the German economy from scant rainfall. In the latest troubles, low water levels on the Rhine, Germany's commercial artery, have disrupted shipping and pushed freight costs up more than five-fold.
Inflation in Sweden eased to 8% year-on-year in July, which ING's global head of markets Chris Turner said in a note to clients may lessen expectations for a massive Riksbank rate hike in September.
The New Zealand dollar was lifted by expectations of a Reserve Bank of New Zealand rate rise next week.