US Dollar lost some ground as markets await April's CPI report from the US


  • April’s US Producer Price Index prints higher monthly reading than expected.
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell signals strong US economic outlook, which may delay interest rate cuts.
  • Markets await CPI data on Wednesday to continue placing their bets on the easing cycle of the Fed.

The US Dollar Index (DXY) is currently trading at around 105.35, displaying minimal losses. The US Producer Price Index (PPI) showed no surprise on the annual print, but monthly prices rose more than expected. Jerome Powell attached to the script given in the last Federal Reserve (Fed) decision that interest rates might have to be kept higher for longer but that cuts will eventually come and inflation will get back to target.

The US economy is displaying robust growth and persistent inflation, which is making the Fed remain cautious about cutting rates. On Wednesday, April’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data will likely impact the expectations on the easing cycle, which is seen starting in September.

Daily digest market movers: DXY is mildly down as markets digest PPI data ahead of CPI

  • US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the Producer Price Index (PPI) increased by 2.2% on a yearly basis in April. Annual core PPI and monthly core PPI both posted a rise of 2.4% and 0.5%, respectively, in line with March figures.
  • Both PPI and core PPI reported a 0.5% rise in April MoM.
  • The odds of a cut in June and July remain low as the best-case scenario for the markets at the moment is that the Fed will start cutting in September. A cut in November is fully priced in.

DXY technical analysis: DXY posts correctives but maintains bullish bias

On the daily chart, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) traces a negative slope in negative territory, which indicates that selling momentum is still present. In addition, the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) shows rising red bars, which demonstrates increasing bearish momentum in the short-term outlook.

That being said, the DXY’s position relative to its Simple Moving Averages (SMAs) paints a different picture. Currently, the index is below the 20-day SMA, showcasing the recent bearish control, but the fact that it is above the 100 and 200-day SMAs points out that the underpinning support from the bulls is not all lost.

 

Inflation FAQs

Inflation measures the rise in the price of a representative basket of goods and services. Headline inflation is usually expressed as a percentage change on a month-on-month (MoM) and year-on-year (YoY) basis. Core inflation excludes more volatile elements such as food and fuel which can fluctuate because of geopolitical and seasonal factors. Core inflation is the figure economists focus on and is the level targeted by central banks, which are mandated to keep inflation at a manageable level, usually around 2%.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the change in prices of a basket of goods and services over a period of time. It is usually expressed as a percentage change on a month-on-month (MoM) and year-on-year (YoY) basis. Core CPI is the figure targeted by central banks as it excludes volatile food and fuel inputs. When Core CPI rises above 2% it usually results in higher interest rates and vice versa when it falls below 2%. Since higher interest rates are positive for a currency, higher inflation usually results in a stronger currency. The opposite is true when inflation falls.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, high inflation in a country pushes up the value of its currency and vice versa for lower inflation. This is because the central bank will normally raise interest rates to combat the higher inflation, which attract more global capital inflows from investors looking for a lucrative place to park their money.

Formerly, Gold was the asset investors turned to in times of high inflation because it preserved its value, and whilst investors will often still buy Gold for its safe-haven properties in times of extreme market turmoil, this is not the case most of the time. This is because when inflation is high, central banks will put up interest rates to combat it. Higher interest rates are negative for Gold because they increase the opportunity-cost of holding Gold vis-a-vis an interest-bearing asset or placing the money in a cash deposit account. On the flipside, lower inflation tends to be positive for Gold as it brings interest rates down, making the bright metal a more viable investment alternative.

 

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