US Dollar – post-Powell rally runs out of steam, focus turns on US labor report
The dollar eases on Thursday, as investors collected some profits from post-Powell’s rally and positioning for next key event this week – US labor report on Friday.
The greenback rose to the highest in more than three months against the basket of major currencies, after Fed Chair Powell said that the fight against stubbornly high inflation will likely extend and may also accelerate, as the central bank would need to raise interest rates more than expected.
Message from Fed chief signaled that interest rates are likely to remain higher and for extended period that would also push the terminal rate much higher than initially estimated, although Powell tried to temper the tone by saying that further policy decisions will depend on economic data.
Traders were heavily long dollar after receiving a message from the central bank, accepting the fact that the battle against inflation is far from the end, following recent optimistic tones that the worst of price rise has been seen and that disinflation started to pick up.
The dollar was additionally deflated on Thursday by higher that expected US weekly jobless claims which rose above expectations and increased by the most in five months, raising question whether this is just a temporary phenomenon, or the economy started to feel stronger negative impact from restrictive monetary policy that was highlighted by some Congressmen in Fed Chair Powell’s testimony in past two days.
All eyes turn to Friday’s release of US non-farm payrolls data, which could have significant impact on Fed’s monetary policy.
The non-farm payrolls are expected to rise by 205K in February, compared to strong rise in January by 517K (the highest since July).
Solid Feb results (above consensus) will signal that the US labor market remains resilient, despite growing threats from new interest rate outlook and will be supportive for the greenback, while weaker than expected data will signal that labor sector has been already hurt from high borrowing cost.
Technical picture on daily chart remains positive and supporting dollar for fresh attempt towards pivotal barriers at 106.03/44 (Fibo 38.2% retracement of 114.72/100.66 descend / 200DMA).
Fresh easing is still away from initial support at 104.91 (10DMA), with deeper dips to be contained above 20DMA (104.36), to mark a healthy correction before bulls regain control.
Caution on firm break below 104.00 zone (higher base / broken Fibo 23.6%) which would put bulls on hold and increase risk of deeper pullback.
Res: 105.85; 106.03; 106.44; 107.13
Sup: 104.91; 104.36; 103.98; 103.35