Dollar Benefits from Hawkish Fed Tone; Euro Hit by Energy Worries

22 Aug 2022

Dollar Benefits from Hawkish Fed Tone; Euro Hit by Energy Worries

. By Peter The U.S. dollar climbed to fresh highs Monday, with Federal Reserve policymakers retaining a hawkish stance over monetary policy ahead of the central bank's key Jackson Hole symposium later this week.At 2:55 ET (06:55 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% higher to 108.160, after climbing earlier Monday as high as 108.26 for the first time since July 15.The index gained over 2% last week, its best weekly rally since April 2020, boosted by a series of Fed officials stressing that more hefty interest rate hikes are needed to combat inflation soaring at 40-year highs.The U.S. central bank has raised interest rates by 225 basis points since March, but all eyes will be on Chairman Jay Powell’s speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday for possible answers about how high U.S. interest rates may go and how long they will need to stay at elevated levels to bring inflation back under control.Ahead of that, EUR/USD fell 0.1% to 1.0027, falling to a new five-week low after Russian energy giant Gazprom announced a three-day halt to European gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline at the end of this month, likely exacerbating the region's energy crisis.The European Central Bank is expected to hike interest rates again in September, after surprising the market with a 50-basis-point increase last month.ECB board member Isabel Schnabel said, in an interview late last week, that she favors another large interest rate increase next month as the region’s inflation outlook hasn’t improved."It also seems that the European Central Bank does have a problem with the weaker euro – judging by Isabel Schnabel’s interview," said analysts at ING, in a note. "But to drive EUR/USD higher – the most relevant euro pair in an energy crisis – the ECB is going to have to turn a lot more hawkish. That is a tough job with a recession around the corner."USD/CNY rose 0.1% to 6.8271, with the pair climbing to its highest in nearly two years after China’s central bank cut key lending rates again, attempting to prop up an economy reeling from COVID-19 clampdowns and a property crisis.GBP/USD edged lower to 1.1824, not far from Friday's five-week low of 1.1792, with consumer confidence in the U.K. having fallen to a record low as concerns about a recession increase and inflation squeeze household finances. The Bank of England is expected to continue tightening monetary policy with another interest rate hike of 50 basis points in September, but this is unlikely to provide much support for the beleaguered pound after the Bank of England warned that the country’s economy would likely enter a prolonged recession in the fourth quarter.USD/JPY rose 0.1% to 137.03, with the yen hurt by a spike in Treasury yields ahead of the Jackson Hole symposium, putting the closely watched 140 level back in play, while the risk-sensitive AUD/USD rose 0.4% to 0.6898, helped by the Chinese rate cut.

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