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US Inflation Data Tops This Week

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The dollar stabilized on Monday, as a holiday in most major Asian markets weakened trading at the beginning of the week. Despite the potential for a busy week, attention is turning to U.S. inflation data, seeking clues about when the Federal Reserve might begin cutting interest rates. The change in expectations regarding when and how much central banks might reduce interest rates, given the decline in inflation, is a significant driver for currency markets currently.

Strong job data earlier this month led to the exclusion of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve in March. Markets currently see a move in May as more likely. Analysts expect the U.S. core consumer price index to rise by 0.3% on a monthly basis in January, but it remains high at 3.8% on an annual basis. Continuing inflation decline and/or weakness in the job market would provide evidence of an impending interest rate cut.

On Wednesday, the reading of the UK Consumer Price Index will also influence opinions on when the Bank of England might start reducing interest rates. Markets are also closely monitoring the Japanese yen, which is highly sensitive to interest rates. Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Friday that authorities are closely monitoring currency market movements. It is worth noting that Japanese authorities intervened in late 2022 to support the yen, which had weakened to 151.94 against the dollar.

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