Dollar Up, Investors Digest Mixed Fed Comments on Inflation

Investing.com – The dollar was up on Thursday morning in Asia as investors digested mixed signals from U.S. Federal Reserve officials regarding the timeline of stimulus measures changes.

The US Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.05% to 91.828 by 11:14 PM ET (3:14 AM GMT).

The USD/JPY pair inched up 0.08% to 111.03 and the USD/CNY pair edged up 0.13% to 6.4812.

The AUD/USD pair inched up 0.01% to 0.7576. Its most populous state of New South Wales reported a double-digit increase in new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for the third consecutive day on Thursday. The NZD/USD pair edged up 0.14% to 0.7054.

The GBP/USD pair inched up 0.01% to 1.3961, with the Bank of England handing down its policy decision later in the day.

The dollar increased after two Fed officials said that the high inflation would last longer than expected in the U.S., following Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterating that the recent price increases will likely wane although they were bigger than expected, earlier in the week.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said he expects the interest rate will need to increase in late 2022 as he is looking for growth of 7% and inflation to be 3.4% in 2021.

“I think the economy is well on its way to recovering from COVID-19… much of the data recently has come in stronger than I expected. GDP is on a stronger trajectory, inflation has been higher and I recognize is well above our target,” he added.

Both Bostic and Fed governor Michelle Bowman said they expect that the recent price pressure will be temporary, but would still take a longer-than-expected time to ease.

Six Fed officials are due to speak later in the day, including New York Fed President John Williams, who said on Tuesday that any talks about when to change interest rates are still far off.

“The market has shifted back into price discovery mode, reflecting the Fed’s recent shift and the need to fine-tune the taper lift-off date,” Mark McCormick (NYSE:MKC),  global head of foreign-exchange strategy at TD Securities, said in a note.

“Good U.S. data will be good for the USD and bad for risk markets, owing to the impact on the tapering process. Accordingly, we still like USD dip-buying into the early parts of the summer,” the note added.

On the data front, investors now await initial jobless claims, due later in the day, and the core personal consumption expenditure price index to be released on Friday.