March 24, 2023

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The US dollar was trading near its highest value against the euro in over a year and near five-time highs against the Japanese yen. A hawkish tilt by the policymakers of the Federal Reserve, along with strong US data, was in direct contrast with the more dovish monetary outlooks in Japan and Europe. There was a 0.1% easing in the dollar index, which measures the value of the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, as it came down to 96.733. However, it was still within touching distance of the high of 96.938 that it had reached on Wednesday, which is its strongest level since July of last year. 

This month, the dollar index has climbed up by 2.77%, with traders betting that the Fed officials would be forced to increase interest rates earlier than expected because of the high rate of inflation. The market is expecting a hike in June of 2022, but the odds are strong that it could come as quickly as May. Market analysts said that the US dollar appeared to be in beast mode and not likely to go down any time soon. However, they added that if this continues, a major reversal could also happen. 

On Wednesday, minutes of the Federal Bank’s policy meeting that occurred on November 2nd and 3rd showed that a number of policymakers were willing to speed up the tapering off of the Fed’s bond-buying programme if inflation continued to increase and would raise interest rates more quickly. Overnight readings of the consumer spending and labour market outstripped estimates of economists, whereas inflation continued to rise. Mary Daly, the San Francisco Fed President, said that she could see the possibility of speeding up the tapering process of the Fed when it comes to its bond purchase program. 

The dollar didn’t change much against the yen, as it stood at a value of 115.355 yen, which kept it close to its overnight high of 115.525, a level that hadn’t been seen since January 2017. There was a 0.13% increase in the euro, as it climbed to $1.215, but it was close to its low of lowest value in 17 months on Wednesday at $1.1186. This was after a slump in German business confidence for the fifth month in a row. While Thursday’s US calendar is mostly empty because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the minutes of the October 28th meeting of the European Central Bank are due for release. 

At that meeting, the policy had been left unchanged by the monetary authority and Christine Lagarde, the President of the ECB said in a news conference that all they had talked about was inflation. She added that after discussions, it had been decided to believe that these inflationary forces were transitory. Later on Thursday, Lagarde will give a speech at a legal conference of the ECB and will be joined by board members Edouard Fernandez-Bollo and Frank Elderson. There was a 0.14% increase in Sterling’s value, as it reached $1.33465, after going as low as $1.3317 a day earlier. 

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