Dollar edges higher, still on course for another monthly loss


The U.S. dollar edged higher in early European trade Monday, but was on track for a second straight monthly loss ahead of the release of more economic data which is likely to shed more light on the future path of interest rates.

At 02:55 ET (06:55 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded marginally higher at 101.575, but was still on course for a monthly loss of around 1%, having fallen over 2% in March.

Concerns that the U.S. economy is heading for a sharp slowdown have weighed on the dollar index of late, after it hit a 20-year high late last year.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise rates by another 25 basis points at next week’s policy-setting meeting as inflation has proved to be stickier than expected, but the focus will be on what happens next amid growing expectations that the central bank will start a loosening cycle this year.

The U.S. data calendar is largely empty Monday, but first-quarter GDP data will be carefully studied on Thursday. The reading is expected to show that growth slowed from the prior quarter.

The PCE price index – the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge – is also due later this week, and is expected to show that inflation remained stubborn through March.

EUR/USD dropped 0.1% to 1.0978, ahead of the release of the widely watched German Ifo business climate index, which is expected to show corporate confidence improved slightly in April.

PMI data released Friday showed that eurozone business activity gathered pace in April, reducing concerns about an impending recession in the region.

The eurozone is due to release advance data on first quarter GDP on Friday, and is expected to show small growth on the quarter, while April inflation reports from the region’s largest economies GermanyFrance and Spain are likely to point to inflationary pressures remaining elevated.

GBP/USD fell 0.1% to 1.2419, AUD/USD dropped 0.3% to 0.6671, while USD/JPY edged higher to 134.19, ahead of a Bank of Japan policy meeting on Friday – the first under new Governor Kazuo Ueda.

Ueda is expected to maintain the bank’s ultra-loose policy for now, but could provide cues on an eventual plan to tighten, especially as inflation remains stubborn.

USD/CNY rose 0.1% to 6.9017, amid uncertainty over the extent and speed of a Chinese economic recovery.


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