The Federal Reserve raised rates a quarter point as expected this afternoon. However, they continued to project only three hikes this year while many speculated a fourth will be added. Citing a stronger economic outlook in the face of dismal February data, they raised their growth forecast for 2018 and 2019. The Fed did increase next year’s rate-hike projections to three from two. But still, the U.S. dollar got hammered. We have been discussing the impact of perception for months now.
The dollar rebounded today against all major currencies as tomorrow’s FOMC Meeting comes into focus. This price action started early on poor reads from UK inflation and German and Eurozone Sentiment data.
The British Pound immediately weakened against the dollar on Tuesday morning after UK inflation fell more than expected in February. Consumer price inflation eased to a 7-month low at 2.7% in February, down from 3% in January, as the impact of Sterling’s Brexit-fuelled selloff faded.
If sterling were to climb higher next week then its best bet would be against a weaker currency like the Swiss franc. The franc weakened a little yesterday after the Swiss National Bank reiterated its commitment in keeping monetary policy extremely loose and intervening in the forex market if necessary to weaken the currency. Thus, the British pound/Swiss franc (GBP/CHF) currency pair remains fundamentally supported.
The New Zealand dollar will remain in focus after trading on Wall Street ends this evening, as Statistics New Zealand releases the latest growth estimate. The nation’s GDP is expected to have expanded by 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 0.6% in Q3. If the data beats expectations then the kiwi, which has been outperforming her peers, could further extend its gains.
All things considered, the Euro reacted in a very quiet manner to today’s news. A strong read on private ADP Payrolls along with better than expected Nonfarm Productivity and Unit Labor Costs supported the dollar this morning.
All things considered, this was a very quiet session for the euro. The currency traded in a range of less than a penny in the face of a deadlocked Italian election, the formation of a coalition government in Germany and President Trump’s trade tariff talk.
The U.S. dollar was set to end the week on a positive note after Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified twice and other Fed speakers signaled a hawkish view on the economy. The U.S. dollar had appreciated on a weekly basis up until Thursday when President Donald Trump announced a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum imports.