US Dollar holds gains despite weak housing data

Source Fxstreet
Apr 16, 2024 16:15
  • DXY Index witnesses minor incline, hitting an early November peak at 106.30.
  • Prior to Powell's speech, US Dollar gained following strong Retail Sales data.
  • US housing data reveals weakness with Building Permits and Housing Starts falling.
  • Investors await further economic reports for more clarity on the health of the US economy.

The US Dollar Index (DXY) is trading at 106.30 with gains on Tuesday, and the DXY continues to benefit from robust Retail Sales data revealed on Monday. Weak housing data didn’t trigger any reaction from the USD, and markets await Jerome Powell’s speech later in the session.

The US economy is witnessing robust growth and persistent inflation. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve (Fed) sends mixed signals: that it's not keen on rate increases but welcomes market-led tightening via higher yields. Following the report of strong March inflation and labor data, easing expectations for June and July have plummeted, which fueled the USD’s rally.

Daily digest market movers: DXY holds strong despite weak housing data, eyes on Powell

  • March's Building Permits recorded a decline of 4.3%, descending to 1.458 million, beneath both the projected 1.514 million and February's 1.523 million.
  • Housing Starts witnessed a notable descent of 14.7%, collapsing from 1.549 million to 1.321 million, not reaching the expected total of 1.48 million.
  • Industrial Production for March rose by 0.4% MoM, matching expectations.
  • Powell’s comments later in the session might trigger movements in the market. Any hawkish signals could further benefit the USD.
  • After the recent inflow of robust US data, market participants are adjusting their easing anticipations. At present, the market anticipates the initial rate cut to materialize in September with a 70% probability for a second cut in December.
  • The investor’s expectations of a June rate cut have diminished to 25% against 60% the previous week.

DXY technical analysis: DXY continues gaining ground, bulls might eventually take breather

The indicators on the daily chart reflect a bullish scenario for the DXY. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is showing overbought conditions, typically indicating strong upward momentum. Similarly, the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) has rising green bars, showing a positive momentum in favor of bulls. However, the rally might have become overextended as these indicators flash overbought signals and might correct in the next sessions.

In addition to this, the currency index is trading above all its Simple Moving Averages (SMAs) at 20, 100 and 200 days. The SMAs suggest a long-term bullish trend. Together, these indicators show that buying momentum is dominant over selling momentum.

 

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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