Forex: Euro fragile as Fed hike looms, Aussie hike bets retreat

Europe's growth remains dependent on the diminishing Russian gas flow

By Reuters

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Published: Wed 27 Jul 2022, 8:30 AM

The euro nursed losses on Wednesday after its sharpest drop in two weeks, as a cut in Russian gas supply sent energy prices soaring, while the Australian dollar dipped with some relief that inflation was not as hot as some investors had bet.

Most moves were modest, as traders awaited a Federal Reserve policy announcement at 1800 GMT.

The euro rose 0.3 per cent to $1.0145 in Asia, which was not enough to recoup much of Tuesday's 1 per cent slide, as Europe's growth remains dependent on diminishing Russian gas flow.

The yen was steady at 137.00 per dollar. Sterling crept 0.2 per cent higher, to $1.2053. The kiwi was flat at $0.6230 and the Australian dollar fell by 0.2 per cent to $0.6923. Australia's year-on-year core inflation hit 4.9 per cent in June, miles above the central bank's target for about 2-3 per cent, but not as bad as some investors had feared, and rate hike bets were pulled back.

"The market has taken out the small chance of a 75 basis point increase... I think that is the reason the Aussie has sold off a little; out of that relief," said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank, adding that investors were positioned for an upside surprise.

Markets are now pricing an 85.7 per cent chance of a 50 bps rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia next week, with 14.3 per cent expecting a more muted 25 bps increase.

For the Fed, a 75 bps is priced in, with a 13 per cent chance of a supersized 100 bps raise. The focus will also be on the Fed's news conference at 1830 GMT for any hint on whether policymakers' resolve to hike further is waning as growth slows.

"It's more of a wait-and-see, rather than the expectation of a large surprise," said Galvin Chia, emerging markets strategist at NatWest Markets. He expects the US dollar to remain supported by safe haven flows over the longer term, amid a darkening global outlook.

Overnight data showed US consumer confidence falling to a nearly 1½ year low and new home sales slumping, while Walmart shares slid after the retailer issued a profit warning. Last week, European manufacturing data was soft.

"Downside risks to the eurozone growth and broader growth concerns globally tends to suggest more dollar strength," Chia added.

The US dollar index stood at 107.08, not far below mid-July's 20-year high of 109.290. It gained 0.64 per cent overnight, snapping three straight sessions of declines.


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