Euro gains traction ahead of inflation data, dollar steadies
The euro won support on Tuesday as traders braced for European inflation figures to run hot this week and awaited a speech from central bank chief Christine Lagarde, while worries about a recession kept the U.S. dollar firm.
The euro rose 0.3% overnight and at one point poked above its 50-day moving average. It last sat at $1.0578.
The dollar held modest overnight gains on other currencies and traded at 135.37 yen and $0.6936 per Australian dollar early in the Asia session.
German inflation figures are due on Wednesday, French data on Thursday and euro zone numbers on Friday. European Central Bank President Lagarde is also due to speak at the ECB forum in Sintra, Portugal, at 0800 GMT on Tuesday.
“This set of inflation data will have a significant influence on the ECB’s monetary policy forward guidance, especially on the trajectory … of its interest rate hike cycle that is expected to kick start in July,” said CMC analyst Kelvin Wong.
Hike expectations have the euro trading firmly against the yen and it last bought 143.28 yen, close to last week’s seven-year high of 144.24. It also has momentum on sterling and has gained 1.2% this month to 86.15 pence.
The weak spot is against the Swiss franc which has rocketed to test parity on the common currency following a surprise rate hike by the Swiss National Bank earlier in June.
Moves elsewhere were modest as traders try and navigate between relief that signs of weakness in recent global economic data can moderate rate hikes, and worry that it could be a harbinger of the onset of a difficult period of stagflation.
Some of the heat has come out of bets on U.S. interest rate rises, with the peak in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark funds rate now seen hovering around 3.5% next year rather than 4% or above, but the dollar has not yet fallen far from lofty peaks.
The U.S. dollar index struck a two-decade high of 105.79 this month and was last steady at 103.93.
The risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars have been left behind in last week’s stock market bounce. The kiwi was steady at $0.6306 on Tuesday.
Sterling was similarly becalmed at $1.2274.
“Stay long the dollar until some of the uncertainty has reduced,” said Societe Generale strategist Kit Juckes.
“The dollar will fall likely only when the global economy is on a more sustainable growth path … markets are forward-looking, but all we can see ahead today is danger.”