Dollar on course for best week in a month

18 Nov 2022

On Friday, the U.S. Dollar was on track for its best week in a month as robust retail sales data and a hawkish stance from Fed officials halted a pullback sparked by indications of softening inflation.

It was also given an overnight boost by a 0.4% decline in the Sterling as investors were disappointed by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement of tax hikes and spending cuts. 

Moreover, St Louis Fed President James Bullard was the latest Federal Reserve official to push back on market hopes for a pause in rate hikes. He stated the rate needs to hit 5% - 5.25% to curb inflation from the current 3.75% - 4%, Reuters news agency reports.

The greenback made a modest rise against the Japanese Yen following the Fed officials' comments and is up around 1% for the week. It also edged up 0.9% against the Australian Dollar overnight to $0.6690 and is on track for its first weekly gain on the Aussie since the middle of October.

In addition, the U.S. Dollar index has risen around 0.16% up to now this week at 106.59, stabilising after a minor miss last week on U.S. inflation leading to one of the greenback's steepest weekly declines on hopes of an end to rate hikes.

Treasury yields also increased after Bullard's comments, with 10-year yields trading around 3.76%.

"The Fed obviously doesn't want to acknowledge (that possibility) and has been saying there's a lot more work to be done," said Jason Wong, senior strategist at BNZ in Wellington.

"Markets are looking for further confirmation from the data," he added, with U.S. inflation readings for November and December key to recognising a trend.

Elsewhere the New Zealand Dollar stood firm at $0.6153 ahead of the central bank meeting next week. Markets are split as to whether a 50 or 75-basis-point hike will be announced.