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Forex Today: Powell Downplays Rate Hike Chances

Yesterday’s meeting of the US Federal Reserve produced no real surprises. Markets focused on Jerome Powell’s statement ruling out a rate hike this year, giving a dovish tilt.

  1. The US Federal Reserve held a policy meeting yesterday which produced no real surprises. Fed Chair Powell poured cold water on the prospect that the Fed’s next move on rates will be a hike and reaffirmed that a cut remains likely later in 2024. This led to gains by stocks and triggered a minor selloff in the US Dollar.
  2. It looks likely that the Bank of Japan intervened in the currency market yesterday by buying Yen. This sent the Yen sharply higher for a few hours, but Yen sellers pushed back, and the Yen has since given up most of its gain. The USD/JPY currency pair seems to have found support at ¥153.87.
  3. There is a near-universal expectation rates will be held, and the Fed will state that it cannot cut rates until there is progress bringing down stubbornly persistent inflation. There is no consensus expectation of any rate cut until November later this year. The US Dollar is rising and is very close to making a new 6-month high price, while stock markets have sunk over the past day.
  4. In the Forex market, since today’s Tokyo open, the strongest major currency has been the Australian Dollar, and the weakest major currency has been the Japanese Yen, putting the AUD/JPY currency cross in focus.
  5. Copper futures recovered slightly yesterday after reaching new 2-year highs on Monday.
  6. There will be two high-impact data releases today:
    • Swiss CPI (inflation)
    • US Unemployment Claims
  7. There were several high-impact data releases yesterday:
    • ADP Non-Farm Employment Change – this forecast came in slightly higher than expected.          
    • Final Manufacturing PMI – approximately as expected.       
    • ISM Manufacturing PMI – approximately as expected.                           
    • JOLTS Job Openings – slightly worse than expected.

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