US Dollar Holds Steady As Fears Over Energy Inflation Return

Following the rebound witnessed on Friday, the US Dollar (USD) started the new week on a bullish note, and the US Dollar Index recovered toward 103.00 during the Asian trading hours. Market participants reassess the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) rate outlook amid renewed concerns over an uncomfortably high energy inflation. The ISM’s Manufacturing PMI survey could impact the USD valuation in Monday’s second half.

Daily Digest Market Movers: US Dollar Reacts To Fed Rate Hike Expectations

  • The CME Group FedWatch Tool shows that markets are pricing in a more than 60% probability of the Fed raising its policy rate by 25 basis points (bps) in May. 
  • On Sunday, Saudi Arabia announced that several producers in OPEC+ will participate in voluntary output cuts from May to the end of the year. The group’s total output will be reduced by more than 1 million daily barrels.
  • The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) barrel opened with a large bullish gap and touched its highest level since late January, above $82.
  • The ISM Manufacturing PMI survey is forecast to show an ongoing contraction in the business activity of the United States (US) manufacturing sector in March.
  • The prices Paid Index of the PMI survey is expected to be 53.8 in March from 51.3 in February. 
  • On Friday, NY Fed President John Williams reiterated that the incoming data and the progress toward employment and price stability mandates would drive the Fed’s policy decisions.
  • Later in the week, the ISM Services PMI survey, ADP private sector employment data, and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics March jobs report could influence the USD valuation. 

Technical Analysis: US Dollar Struggles To Gather Strength Against Euro

Despite the modest retreat witnessed at the beginning of the week, EUR/USD remains bullish in the near term. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) indicator on the daily chart stays near 60, and the pair holds comfortably above the 20-day and the 50-day SMA, which are about to make a bullish cross. 

On the upside, EUR/USD faces first resistance at 1.0900 (psychological level, static level). If the pair rises above that level and confirms it as support, it could extend its uptrend toward 1.1000 (end-point of the latest uptrend) and 1.1035 (multi-month high set in early February).

EUR/USD’s latest pullback confirmed 1.0800 (psychological level, static level) as support. A daily close below that level could open the door for further losses toward 1.0730 and the 1.0650/60 area, where the 100-day SMA and the Fibonacci 23.6% retracement of the latest uptrend align.

How Does Fed’s Policy Impact US Dollar?

The US Federal Reserve (Fed) has two mandates: maximum employment and price stability. The Fed uses interest rates as the primary tool to reach its goals but has to find the right balance. If the Fed is concerned about inflation, it tightens its policy by raising the interest rate to increase the cost of borrowing and encourage saving.

In that scenario, the US Dollar (USD) will likely gain value due to decreasing money supply. On the other hand, the Fed could decide to loosen its policy via rate cuts if it’s concerned about a rising unemployment rate due to a slowdown in economic activity. Lower interest rates are likely to lead to a growth in investment and allow companies to hire more people. In that case, the USD is expected to lose value.

The Fed also uses quantitative tightening (QT) or quantitative easing (QE) to adjust the size of its balance sheet and steer the economy in the desired direction. QE refers to the Fed buying assets, such as government bonds, in the open market to spur growth, and QT is exactly the opposite. QE is widely seen as a USD-negative central bank policy action and vice versa.

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