US dollar on back foot

Business | 23 Jun 2021 10:03 am

The U.S. dollar remained on the back foot against major peers on Wednesday after a two-day drop as U.S. Federal Reserve officials including Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed that tighter monetary policy was still some way off, Reuters reports.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback versus six rivals, was at 91.775 in early Asian trading, off a two-month high of 92.408 reached at the end of last week.

It has now given up about a third of its sharp gains posted since last Wednesday, when the Fed surprised markets by signalling much earlier rate hikes than investors previously expected.

Overnight, both Powell and New York Fed President John Williams warned that the economic recovery requires more time before a tapering of stimulus and higher borrowing costs are appropriate.

"We will not raise interest rates pre-emptively because we fear the possible onset of inflation," Powell said on Tuesday in a hearing before a U.S. House of Representatives panel. "We will wait for evidence of actual inflation or other imbalances."

"Latest smoke signals from the Fed ... all point to September as the meeting when the Fed is, on current trends, most likely to declare that substantial further progress towards their goals has been achieved, or is being achieved," Ray Attrill, head of foreign-exchange strategy at National Australia Bank in Sydney, wrote in a client note, forecasting tapering likely won't start until early next year. "Their comments have seen markets row back somewhat from their largely position-driven convulsions last week."

 



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