Dollar index slips below 23-month high before Fed, U.S. jobs data

NEW YORK: The dollar fell against a basket of currencies on Monday, slipping further from a 23-month high, as traders await more data to convince them whether to add to their bullish positions in the greenback.
Most major currencies held in tight ranges on light trading volume as Japan began its extended Golden Week holiday. China will observe its Labor Day holiday from Wednesday to Friday.
A Federal Reserve policy meeting, Brexit negotiations and a raft of global data including U.S. payrolls could each be the trigger for big currency swings this week.
“You have a lot of economic data later this week from around the world. People are waiting to see if there is a lot of major shifts,” said Chuck Tomes, associate portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.
A swathe of manufacturing surveys from Europe and China are due later this week, along with a first reading on EU GDP. The U.S. payrolls report on Friday is forecast to show a solid increase of 185,000 jobs in April, with unemployment at 3.8%.
In late U.S. trading, an index that tracks the greenback against the euro, yen, sterling and three other currencies was down 0.14% at 97.865. Last week, it reached 98.330, the highest since May 2017.
The euro was 0.33% higher at $1.1185, while the dollar was up 0.19% at 111.72 yen.
“I expect major currencies to be rangebound in this environment,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in New York.
The dollar index failed to move higher after data that showed U.S. consumer spending gaining 0.9% in March, marking its biggest monthly increase in more than 9-1/2 years.
The core personal consumption expenditure price index, on the other hand, did not change in March, leaving its year-over-year increase at 1.6%, the smallest rise in 14 months.
Traders await clues on the Fed’s global economic outlook as the central bank’s policymaking board meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Analysts do not anticipate any major changes from Fed officials who signaled last month they would not raise interest rates in 2019.
Since the Fed’s March meeting, U.S. economic data has shown expansion has continued despite some slowing since late 2018. Last Friday, the government said first-quarter gross domestic product grew at a 3.2% pace, a figure bolstered largely by a surge in inventories and exports.
Speculators raised their long dollar positions to $37.21 billion last week, the highest level since December 2015, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released late Friday.

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