US Dollar Index probes DXY bears above 102.00 as Fed interest rate hike looms

  • US Dollar steadies after snapping three-day winning streak.
  • Market’s anxiety probes DXY bears as US stock futures fail to trace Wall Street, yields stabilize.
  • Downbeat US data, yields weighed on the USD the previous day.
  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has a tough task of defending US Dollar bulls amid dovish hike expectations.

US Dollar Index (DXY) portrays the typical pre-Fed anxiety by making rounds to 102.10 during early Wednesday. In doing so, the greenback’s gauge versus the six major currencies cite the market’s fears of a hawkish surprise from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell while battling the previous day’s downbeat US data and yields.

That said, the DXY dropped the most in a week while snapping three-day uptrend on Tuesday as US employment cost numbers back the concerns surrounding easy inflation. The same joined the upbeat equity earnings to propel equities and weighed on the US Treasury bond yields, which in exert downside pressure on the US Dollar Index.

US Employment Cost Index (ECI) for the fourth quarter (Q4) gained a major attention as it eased to 1.0% versus 1.1% market forecasts and 1.2% prior readings. Further, the Conference Board (CB) Consumer Confidence eased to 107.10 in January versus 108.3 prior. It should be noted that no major attention could be given to the US Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for January which rose to 44.3 versus 41 expected and 44.9 previous readings.

Elsewhere, earnings data from the industry majors like General Motors, Exxon and McDonalds pushed back recession woes and propelled the Wall Street benchmarks, which in turn weigh on the US Treasury bond yields and the DXY. That said, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), S&P 500 and Nasdaq all three reported over 1.0% daily gains on Tuesday. The same weighed on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yields which snapped a three-day uptrend while revisiting 3.51% while the two-year counterpart also dropped to 4.20%, near the same levels by the press time.

Even so, the S&P 500 Futures print mild losses by the press time and probe the DXY bears amid the pre-Fed anxiety. Also challenging the US Dollar bears are the steady yields.

Moving on, a slew of US activity data for January may entertain the US Dollar Index traders but major attention will be on how Fed Chairman Jerome Powell could defend his hawkish bias as the 0.25% rate hike is already priced-in. In case of a hawkish surprise, the DXY could portray the much-awaited recovery.

Also read: Federal Reserve Preview: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, why the US Dollar would rise

Technical analysis

A retreat from 21-day Exponential Moving Average (EMA), currently around 102.60, keeps DXY bears hopeful of revisiting the previous monthly low of 101.50.

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