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Dollar retreats from payrolls gains; CPI data looms large


By Peter Nurse – The U.S. dollar slipped lower in early European trade Tuesday, handing back some of the previous session’s gains amid uncertainty over the future path of the Federal Reserve’s rate-hiking cycle.

At 03:05 ET (07:05 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.2% lower to 102.013, having risen 0.4% last session, bouncing off a two-month low last week.

Friday’s official jobs report, released on the Good Friday holiday, had given the greenback a boost as it showed a resilient labor market, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 236,000 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.5%.

This strength suggests the Fed has room to continue lifting interest rates when its policymakers next meet in May, but contrasts with the weaker data released earlier last week that showed U.S. job openings dropped to their lowest in nearly two years in February.

Expectations that the Fed will lift interest rates by another quarter point in May now stand at around 70%, up from around 50% last week.

This brings the focus squarely on to Wednesday’s inflation data as well as the minutes of the Fed’s March meeting as traders look for further clues of the future path of monetary policy.

EUR/USD traded 0.3% higher at 1.0892, after Monday’s 0.3% retreat.

Data due for release later Tuesday are expected to show that retail sales in the euro region fell 0.8% on the month in February as consumers struggled with high prices.

Core inflation in the euro zone is likely to stay high for the rest of 2023, ECB policymaker Pablo Hernandez de Cos said on Monday, suggesting that the European Central Bank is still widely expected to continue hiking interest rates when it next meets in May.

“Despite the building macro negatives for the dollar, we suspect a challenging risk environment can keep EUR/USD bouncing around in a 1.05-1.10 range,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

GBP/USD rose 0.3% to 1.2414, having declined 0.2% overnight, while the risk-sensitive AUD/USD rose 0.5% to 0.6670.

USD/JPY fell 0.1% to 133.41, after rising over 1% on Monday when new Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda vowed to stick with ultra-easy stimulus settings at his inauguration.

USD/CNY rose 0.1% to 6.8851 after data showed consumer price index inflation in the country missed expectations in March, while producer price index inflation continued to fall.



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