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The dollar hit a 1-month peak – Markets wait for any clue from Fed

The U.S. dollar was steady on June 16, with currency markets generally quiet ahead of a U.S. Fed meeting. Investors are looking for any clue of response to the rise in U.S. inflation.

The Federal Reserve ends its policy meeting later in the day and will release new economic projections along with a policy statement.

The central bank is anticipated to acknowledge the first conversations among its policymakers about when and how fast to pare back the massive bond-buying program launched in 2020. However, most investors think the Fed will refrain from any signs of starting tapering its stimulus soon.

The U.S. dollar was flat on the day versus a basket of currencies, at 90.529. On Tuesday, it reached a one-month high of 90.677, despite mixed U.S. economic data.

Meanwhile, the euro was slightly changed versus the dollar, at $1.21185.

U.S. retail sales dropped more than anticipated in May, but sales in April were revised sharply up and are well above their pre-COVID level.

Meanwhile, wholesale price inflation accelerated to 6.6%. Consumer price data last week revealed the sharpest increase in more than a couple of years.

Market participants will be watching to the news conference after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting for any change in tone from Fed Chair Jerome Powell about whether the inflation is expected to be short-lived.

Japan’s exports soared at the fastest pace since 1980 in May

Risk-sensitive currencies, the Australian and New Zealand dollars, were up. Kiwi boosted by 0.3% and traded at $0.7144, while the Australian dollar gained 0.2% at $0.7703.

The British sterling increased by 0.2% at $1.4112 after UK inflation unexpectedly surged above the Bank of England’s 2% target in May.

Meanwhile, Brent crude hit the highest since April 2019 due to a mix of post-pandemic demand and restricted production.

Japan’s exports soared at the fastest pace since 1980 in May. Moreover, a key measure of capital spending increased, helping the world’s third-largest economy offset sluggish domestic demand as coronavirus vaccinations raise business activity in key markets.

The U.S. dollar was a touch lower versus the yen, trading at 109.955.

The Chinese yuan was little changed against the greenback. It was hovering about the key 6.40 level after China’s industrial output, and retail sales data both were below their forecasts.

The largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was traded at about $39,700 on Wednesday. BTC rose above $40,000 earlier in the week following tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said that Tesla may continue accepting Bitcoin as a transaction.

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