Investing.com– The U.S. dollar edged higher, just below the recent six-month high, making a steady start to the new week as traders digested last week’s series of central bank interest rate decisions. At 03:20 ET (07:20 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded largely unchanged at 105.262, having hit a six-month high on Friday.
Dollar retains strength after hawkish Fed meeting The dollar received a boost last week after the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated that rates would be higher for longer, surprising the market with the hawkish nature of its predictions. This contrasted significantly with its counterparts in Britain and Switzerland, who both halted their rate-hiking cycles, while the Bank of Japan maintained its extremely accommodative monetary policy.
This followed the previous week’s relatively dovish tone by the European Central Bank. EUR/USD edged lower to 1.0650, just above the six-month low of 1.0615 seen on Friday, and was on track to lose roughly 1.8% for the month, its steepest monthly fall since May. GBP/USD rose 0.1% to 1.2244, rebounding to a degree after sliding more than 1% last week, with the pound heading for a more than 3% fall in September, its worst monthly performance in a year.
USD/JPY traded largely unchanged at 148.38, not far removed from the pair’s 10-month high seen last week after the Bank of Japan’s dovish meeting. “The result was a bit disappointing given that there wasn’t any clear sign of a shift in policy stance either from its statement or from Governor Ueda’s comments,” said analysts at ING, in a note. The currency pair is within striking distance of 150, a level which many in the market see as prompting forex intervention from Japanese authorities.
Central bank speakers, inflation data due There are a series of central bank officials due to speak this week, with ECB President Christine Lagarde starting the ball rolling later in the session, ahead of comments from Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. Preliminary September consumer price data for the bloc is due at the end of this week, while there is also key U.S. inflation scheduled for Friday.
Ahead of this, the German Ifo business sentiment release is due later Monday, and will give an indication of the health of the eurozone’s most important economy. Chinese yuan drops on property woes USD/CNY rose 0.2% to 7.3092, with the Chinese yuan struggling due to renewed concerns over China’s debt-addled property market. Real estate giant China Evergrande (HK:3333) Group warned that it was unable to issue new debt due to a government investigation into its subsidiary Hengda Real Estate Group. This fueled concerns over a broader debt freeze in the market, which is already reeling from a severe cash crunch over the past three years.