US Dollar trades in red as traders await CPI data outcome

Source Fxstreet
Apr 8, 2024 16:51
  • DXY Index is currently trading at 104.15  with mild losses.
  • March’s CPI report is due on Wednesday, investors will monitor its outcome for more direction on the economy's health.
  • Markets still expect the Fed’s easing cycle to start in June.

The US Dollar Index (DXY) is currently trading at a modest loss at the 104.15 level. Mild market fluctuations for the USD continue to make waves as the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) cautious stance is calibrated in light of incoming data. Hot labor market figures reported last week may justify the delay of the easing cycle, while Fed officials ask for patience.

The US economy has yet to show clear evidence of a moderation of inflation and economic activity, which makes the Fed comfortable to start cutting rates. In case data shows a resilient economy and easing expectations adjust, the USD may see further upside.

Daily digest market movers: DXY losses limited by US economy strength and rising Treasury yields 

  • Given the current steady expansion and continued inflation in the US economy, the Fed stays wary of modifying monetary policy and its officials ask for caution. 
  • Markets are still pricing in higher odds of around 60% of the easing cycle to start in June.
  • US Treasury bond yields demonstrate a slight increase. The 2-year yield stands at 4.78%, the 5-year at 4.41%, and the 10-year at 4.33%.
  • On Wednesday, the US will release Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from March, a crucial inflation indicator.
  • The headline figure is seen accelerating, while the core measure is seen cooling down. The outcome of the index will likely fuel volatility in the USD dynamic via movements in Treasury yields and Fed expectations.

DXY technical analysis: DXY bulls remain weak with bears around the corner


The indicators on the daily chart reflect a mixed sentiment in the market. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) has a negative slope but maintains itself in positive territory, indicating that there's uncertainty among the market participants and a lack of a firm directional bias.

In addition, there may be a hint of bearish momentum as the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator shows decreasing green bars, signifying a possible slowdown in the buying power. This could mean that the bears are slowly gaining the upper hand. However, the DXY is positioned above its 20, 100 and 200-day Simple Moving Averages (SMAs), insinuating an underlying bullish sentiment.

 

US Dollar FAQs

The US Dollar (USD) is the official currency of the United States of America, and the ‘de facto’ currency of a significant number of other countries where it is found in circulation alongside local notes. It is the most heavily traded currency in the world, accounting for over 88% of all global foreign exchange turnover, or an average of $6.6 trillion in transactions per day, according to data from 2022. Following the second world war, the USD took over from the British Pound as the world’s reserve currency. For most of its history, the US Dollar was backed by Gold, until the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1971 when the Gold Standard went away.

The most important single factor impacting on the value of the US Dollar is monetary policy, which is shaped by the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed has two mandates: to achieve price stability (control inflation) and foster full employment. Its primary tool to achieve these two goals is by adjusting interest rates. When prices are rising too quickly and inflation is above the Fed’s 2% target, the Fed will raise rates, which helps the USD value. When inflation falls below 2% or the Unemployment Rate is too high, the Fed may lower interest rates, which weighs on the Greenback.

In extreme situations, the Federal Reserve can also print more Dollars and enact quantitative easing (QE). QE is the process by which the Fed substantially increases the flow of credit in a stuck financial system. It is a non-standard policy measure used when credit has dried up because banks will not lend to each other (out of the fear of counterparty default). It is a last resort when simply lowering interest rates is unlikely to achieve the necessary result. It was the Fed’s weapon of choice to combat the credit crunch that occurred during the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. It involves the Fed printing more Dollars and using them to buy US government bonds predominantly from financial institutions. QE usually leads to a weaker US Dollar.

Quantitative tightening (QT) is the reverse process whereby the Federal Reserve stops buying bonds from financial institutions and does not reinvest the principal from the bonds it holds maturing in new purchases. It is usually positive for the US Dollar.

 

Disclaimer: For information purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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