By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – The U.S. dollar weakened in early European trade Friday, continuing the previous session’s selloff after U.S. inflation eased more than expected, while sterling edged higher after a small third-quarter growth contraction.
At 02:50 ET (07:50 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.5% lower at 107.50, dropping to the lowest levels since mid-September after losses of more than 2% in the prior session.
This bout of dollar weakness has stemmed from Thursday’s data showing U.S. CPI inflation grew 7.7% in October, its slowest pace in nine months, suggesting the series of sharp interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this year were finally having their desired effect.
This raised expectations that the Fed policymakers may decide to temper the central bank’s aggressive monetary tightening campaign earlier than previously anticipated, potentially hiking by only 50 basis points in December instead of another 75 bps increase.
The “CPI data will not be the final say on that decision (we have jobs data and another CPI release before then), but it can set the tone regarding the Fed’s comfort level,” said analysts at ING, in a note.
Elsewhere, GBP/USD rose 0.3% to 1.1747 after data showed Britain’s economy shrank by 0.2% in the three months to September, not as deep a contraction as the 0.5% drop expected.
However, this was the first fall in six quarters and is expected to represent the start of a lengthy slowdown, with the Bank of England indicating last week that Britain’s economy was set to go into a two-year recession if interest rates continued to rise to combat inflation.
EUR/USD rose 0.3% to 1.0242, climbing to its highest level since August and extending its 2% overnight surge, while the risk-sensitive AUD/USD rose 0.5% to 0.6653.
USD/JPY rose 0.2% to 141.25, gaining back some ground after the dollar recorded on Thursday its worst day against the Japanese yen since 2016, having fallen 3.7%.
USD/CNY slumped 1.1% to 7.1069, with the yuan climbing to its strongest level against the dollar in two weeks after China reduced the amount of time people entering the country must spend in quarantine to five days from seven.
This followed news that Hong Kong had relaxed some of its COVID curbs, and spurred renewed speculation that China may look more carefully at its Zero-COVID policy.