Dollar Edges Lower Ahead of Key CPI Release

The dollar edged lower Tuesday, with traders waiting for the release of the latest U.S. inflation numbers for guidance on the timing of the start of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus withdrawal.

At 2:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded marginally lower at 92.627, having retreated from Monday’s two-week high of 92.887. 

USD/JPY rose 0.1% to 110.09, EUR/USD was flat at 1.1808, having bounced back from Monday’s low of 1.1770, its lowest since Aug. 27, while GBP/USD edged higher to 1.3838, helped by U.K. employment data showing that the total number of payrolled employees climbed in August above their level in February 2020, just before Britain first went into Covid-19 lockdown.

The main focus Tuesday will be on the release of the U.S. consumer price data, at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT), especially with the Federal Reserve’s next policy review being so close, on Sept 21-22.

Annual consumer price inflation is expected to dip slightly to 5.3% from 5.4% in July, while core CPI, an index which strips out volatile energy and food prices, is seen easing slightly annually to 4.2% from 4.3% in July.

“Recent Fed communication has not diverged from the view that inflationary pressures have a transitory nature, so even in the event of another rise in inflation we doubt Fed rate expectations – and by extension, the dollar – will be particularly impacted,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Fed officials will seek an agreement to begin paring bond purchases in November.

Elsewhere, the risk sensitive AUD/USD dropped 0.4% to 0.7335, after Australian central bank chief Philip Lowe pushed back against market pricing for early interest-rate increases.

“I find it difficult to understand why rate rises are being priced in next year or early 2023,” Lowe said earlier Tuesday. “While policy rates might be increased in other countries over this time frame, our wage and inflation experience is quite different.”

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