The U.S. dollar tumbled down almost to a five-month low against major currencies on Thursday. Traders were waiting for the U.S. inflation data, along with a European Central Bank meeting scheduled later today. As a result, they had a wait-and-see attitude all week, leaving major currencies primarily range-bound.
The dollar index has fluctuated narrowly around the 90 levels. It last traded at 90.206, near to last month’s low of 89.533, a level last reached in early January.
The Japanese yen traded at 109.565 per dollar. It changed insignificantly from Wednesday, remaining almost in the middle of the 109.19-110.325 range of the past two weeks.
Meanwhile, the euro surged forward to a one-week high at $1.2218 on Wednesday. However, it experienced a little change at the end of the session. The common currency traded mostly flat at $1.21635 in Asia, as well.
Deutsche Bank’s Currency Volatility Index plummeted down at its lowest level since February 2020. Investors especially waited for the U.S. Labor Department’s consumer prices data after last month’s report showed consumer prices soared by the most in nearly 12 years in April.
Some traders betted that higher prices could last longer than economists anticipate. As a result, they essentially called into question the Fed’s insistence that current inflation pressures are transitory. However, the agency maintains that monetary stimulus should stay in place for some time yet.
What Do the Analysts Say?
According to economists’ forecasts, the CPI advanced 0.4% in May. Westpac analysts and Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) officials are on the same side in the inflation debate. They don’t expect a taper of the central bank’s asset-purchase program at least until the second half of next year.
At the same time, they forecast the dollar index to plummet to 87.30 soon before skyrocketing again as U.S. monetary tightening takes effect. The FOMC seems fixated on the need to restore maximum employment. Traders are also watching for any clues of an imminent slowdown to the ECB’s bond-buying program.