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Dollar Struggles to Retain Gains Despite Receding March Rate Cut Odds

Dollar Struggles to Retain Gains Despite Receding March Rate Cut Odds

In early Asian trade on Monday, the U.S. dollar faced challenges in maintaining its gains. The currency’s data-driven rally from last week came to a halt due to the upcoming central bank decisions in Japan and Europe.

The Japanese yen experienced significant movement in an otherwise calm trading session, as it cautiously moved away from its one-month low of 148.80 reached on Friday. In a surprising turn of events, the currency has experienced a significant decline against the dollar this year, dropping by approximately 5%. This sharp reversal comes after a brief period of recovery in December, where it reached its highest point in five months, close to 140.

The U.S. dollar encountered difficulties in sustaining its gains during early Asian trade on Monday. The currency’s rally, driven by data, was interrupted as central bank decisions in Japan and Europe loomed.

In an otherwise calm trading session, the Japanese yen made a notable shift, moving away from its one-month low of 148.80 reached on Friday. The currency has seen a notable decrease in value against the dollar this year, with a decline of around 5%. Following a short-lived period of improvement in December, the value experienced a significant downturn, marking its lowest point in five months, nearing 140.

According to San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly, she expressed confidence in the current state of the U.S. economy and monetary policy, stating that they are in a positive position. Daly also mentioned that it is too early to consider the possibility of rate cuts.

Traders in the short-term interest rate futures market are indicating a shift in their expectations. The probability of an interest rate cut in March has fallen below 50%, a significant drop from the nearly 80% probability seen in early January. Data from CME Group supports this observation.

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According to Chris Weston, head of research at online broker Pepperstone, the odds are not expected to change significantly until later this week. This is when the Federal Reserve’s key inflation indicator, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, is scheduled to be released.

“According to an expert, the USD’s value is closely tied to the changing expectations of a potential interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in March. When the probability of a rate cut decreases, the USD strengthens, and vice versa,” he stated.

Dollar Struggles to Retain Gains Despite Receding March Rate Cut Odds

According to analysts at NatWest Markets, there is potential for the U.S. dollar to continue its correction. However, they also mentioned that the near-term pricing by the Federal Reserve appears to be more balanced now, indicating a less aggressive stance.

In recent days, Treasury yields have been on the rise as central bank officials have expressed their opposition to the market’s anticipation of a rapid decrease in interest rates.

There are several key events and factors that will be of interest to markets this week. On Thursday, both the European Central Bank and Turkey will hold policy meetings, which will likely have an impact on market sentiment. Additionally, it is a busy earnings season, with many companies reporting their financial results. Furthermore, the recent turmoil in the Red Sea has disrupted global trade and supply chains, adding to the concerns of market participants.

In anticipation of the upcoming ECB policy meeting, there has been a shift in the debate among policymakers. It seems that they now acknowledge that the next step will involve a decrease in borrowing costs. However, it is worth noting that this reduction is expected to occur later and be less significant than what the markets are currently anticipating. Market analysts are expressing their disagreement with the ECB’s inflation outlook and are anticipating a total of five cuts to be made this year.

“The ECB appears to be coming together,” according to NatWest Markets. “Despite this, experts believe that the European Central Bank’s credibility in taking a more aggressive stance is questionable, and they still perceive the overall risks to lean towards a more cautious approach.”

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