US Dollar again in the ropes on Richmond Manufacturing miss

Most Recent Article:US Dollar continues to weaken on dovish Fed bets, quiet week ahead

  • The US Dollar retreats another leg lower.
  • Equity markets trade flat with US futures hesitant to continue the Christmas rally.
  • The DXY US Dollar Index trades near 101 and a breach could see an accelerated nosedive. 

The US Dollar (USD) is still facing selling pressure with markets currently tilting towards six rate cuts in 2024. Markets are fully ignoring the messages nearly every US Federal Reserve member brought in the aftermath of the last US Fed rate decision in December. It looks that six cuts are nearly fully priced in, which means the US Dollar weakness is runnign on a near empty gas tank. 

On the economic front, the Richmond Manufacturing data is a big miss on expectations. With a decline to -11, coming from -5, the Index is hitting the lowest level since June. This moves the US Dollar substantially weaker against most major peers. 

Daily digest Market Movers: Last few punches

  • The Redbook Index for this week went from 3.6% to 4.1%.
  • Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index for December drops substantially lower. The number heads from -5 to -11, where -7 was expected. 
  • The US Treasury will have some people coming into the office to allocate a 5-year Note in the market near 18:00 GMT.
  • Equities are very geographically divided this Wednesday: Asian equities are jumping higher and are booking over 1% gains in Japan and Chinas’ major indices. European equities look rather reluctant to take over the positive vibe out of Asia and are mildly in the green by less than 0.5%. US equities are slightly in the green in a very hesitant trading day. 
  • The CME Group’s FedWatch Tool shows that markets are pricing in an 85.5% chance that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates unchanged at its January 31 meeting. Around 14.5% expect the first cut already to take place.
  • The benchmark 10-year US Treasury Note trades near 3.84%, the lowest level since summer.

US Dollar Index Technical Analysis: Richmond data does the trick

The US Dollar Index looks incapable of recovering soon from the current downturn since November. Traders should be warned that these days between Christmas and New Year usually exhibit thin liquidity and a low number of market participants being present in the markets. Should the US Dollar be able to hold the current position in the DXY, some recovery could be at hand once traders come back in January. 

First upside resistance to face is near 101.78 at the low of December 21st. Although a long way to go, it looks not unthinkable that the DXY might test the descending trend line near 103.00. Depending on the catalyst that fuels the recovery in the Greenback, the 200-day Simple Moving Average (SMA) near 103.45 is firm last resistance before having more upside. 

To the downside, the pivotal level at 101.70 – the low of August 4 and 10 – is vital to hold and could still see a close this week. Once broken, look for 100.82, which aligns with the bottoms from February and April. Should that level snap, nothing will stand in the way of DXY heading to the sub-100 region. 

Dot Plot FAQs

What is the Federal Reserve “Dot Plot”?

The “Dot Plot” is the popular name of the interest-rate projections by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the US Federal Reserve (Fed), which implements monetary policy. These are published in the Summary of Economic Projections, a report in which FOMC members also release their individual projections on economic growth, the unemployment rate and inflation for the current year and the next few ones. The document consists of a chart plotting interest-rate projections, with each FOMC member’s forecast represented by a dot. The Fed also adds a table summarizing the range of forecasts and the median for each indicator. This makes it easier for market participants to see how policymakers expect the US economy to perform in the near, medium and long term.

When does the Federal Reserve publish the “Dot Plot”?

The US Federal Reserve publishes the “Dot Plot” once every other meeting, or in four of the eight yearly scheduled meetings. The Summary of Economic Projections report is published along with the monetary policy decision.

Why is the “Dot Plot” important for markets?

The “Dot Plot” gives a comprehensive insight into the expectations from Federal Reserve (Fed) policymakers. As projections reflect each official’s projection for interest rates at the end of each year, it is considered a key forward-looking indicator. By looking at the “Dot Plot” and comparing the data to current interest-rate levels, market participants can see where policymakers expect rates to head to and the overall direction of monetary policy. As projections are released quarterly, the “Dot Plot” is widely used as a guide to figure out the terminal rate and the possible timing of a policy pivot.

How does data in the “Dot Plot” affect the US Dollar?

The most market-moving data in the “Dot Plot” is the projection of the federal funds rate. Any change compared with previous projections is likely to influence the US Dollar (USD) valuation. Generally, if the “Dot Plot” shows that policymakers expect higher interest rates in the near term, this tends to be bullish for USD. Likewise, if projections point to lower rates ahead, the USD is likely to weaken.

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