Dollar finds footing as traders wait for inflation numbers

LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar found support on Tuesday as investors prepared for U.S. inflation data due later in the week following weaker-than-expected jobs data, which has eased concerns about early tapering of the Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus.

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. five dollar note is seen in this illustration photo June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

The euro fell, weakened by the dollar’s strength and data showing German industrial production numbers declined in April.

Currency markets were generally in a holding pattern ahead of Thursday, when the European Central Bank meets and U.S. inflation numbers are published.

The dollar has weakened in 2021 but the drop has paused in recent weeks as investors try to make sense of where U.S. monetary policy is headed.

“As investors continue to process G7 corporate tax proposals, low volatility remains the name of the game in FX into this week’s ‘super Thursday’ (US CPI and ECB meeting),” ING analysts said in a note.

The dollar index rose 0.1% to 90.138 while against the euro the greenback was 0.1% higher at $1.2172.

The Federal Reserve also meets next week, giving investors further reason to sit on the sidelines for now.

“Worries remain that the Fed may start discussing tapering asset purchases at next week’s FOMC meeting,” said Philip Wee, an FX strategist at Singapore’s DBS Bank. “More so after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comment that higher U.S. interest rates would be good for the economy,” he added.

The British pound fell 0.3% to $1.4138 and the Australian dollar eased slightly to $0.7745, even though both stuck in ranges seen over the past couple of months.

With recent trading channels tight, implied volatilities on both currencies have dropped to their lowest levels since early 2020, before markets were pummelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese yen dropped as the dollar rose, fetching 109.51 yen per dollar, down 0.2% on the day.

Cryptocurrencies dropped but trading was generally calm. Bitcoin eased to a three-week low of $32,418, while ether fell 4% to a one-week low of $2,431.93.

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