Dollar Edges Lower; Wait for U.S. CPI Release Limits Activity

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Dollar Edges Lower; Wait for U.S. CPI Release Limits Activity

By Peter Nurse - The U.S. dollar edged lower in early European trade Tuesday, adopting something of a holding pattern ahead of the release of the key U.S. consumer inflation data.

At 3:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% lower at 106.188, dropping further back from Friday’s peak of 106.93, the strongest level since July 28.

Friday’s strong July U.S. jobs report increased expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue its aggressive monetary tightening with another hike of 75 basis points in September.

“An unequivocally strong US July jobs report released on Friday has gone a little way to assuaging recession fears and given credence to last week's pushback from the Fed that it was nowhere near done in terms of tightening,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

This brings Wednesday’s U.S. consumer price index release firmly into focus, with another large number likely to cement such an increase.

The July CPI figure is expected to ease to 8.7% on an annual basis from 9.1% previously, but a New York Fed survey showed consumers' inflation expectations fell sharply in July, perhaps offering further downside potential to this figure.

A large fall in the CPI release could provide sufficient evidence that inflation has peaked to persuade the Fed to relax its aggressive tightening path, and the dollar has edged lower in tight trading ranges ahead of the number.

EUR/USD rose 0.1% to 1.0206, USD/JPY fell 0.1% to 134.90, while the risk-sensitive AUD/USD fell 0.2% to 0.6976.

GBP/USD rose 0.1% to 1.2086, with sterling traders focusing on Friday’s release of U.K. GDP for June, which is expected to show a sharp slowdown of 1.2% on the month as the country struggles with rising interest rates and soaring inflation.

“Weaker activity will highlight the BoE's call of the U.K. entering a recession in 4Q22 and contracting 2% over the five subsequent quarters,” said ING.

“Sterling probably has not sold off more since investors do not quite know what to do with a reserve currency that will be backed by rates at 2.25% if we are correct with our BoE call for the September meeting.”

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