- Aussie, NZ Dollar gain as markets look ahead to US inflation data
- US Dollar may rise if CPI reboots bets on steep Fed rate hike path
- Yen may rise as commodity bloc FX suffers if data sours sentiment
The Australian and New Zealand Dollars edged cautiously higher in otherwise quiet Asia Pacific trade. The move may reflect pre-positioning ahead of the upcoming US CPI report. The data is expected to show that the headline inflation rate edged up to 2.2 percent in February.
A print in line with forecasts would fall well within the range prevailing since September and may help cool fears about an aggressive Fed rate hike cycle. Investors breathed a sigh of relief Friday as official jobs data showed wage inflation dropped to 2.6 percent, hinting January’s spike might have been a one-off.
Further evidence reinforcing the likelihood of such a scenario would be understandably supportive for the commodity Dollars, which compete with their US namesake for the top spot on the G10 FX yield spectrum. Gains may prove fleeting however if CPI prints meaningfully higher than expected.
PMI survey data revealed the fastest service-sector price growth in five months. The manufacturing side was even more eye-catching, with factory-gate price growth at four-year high. If this is echoed in today’s release, worries about steep Fed tightening are likely to return.
This would be most obviously uplifting for the US Dollar. The perennially anti-risk Japanese Yen may also trade higher if broader risk aversion is set off. The Aussie and Kiwi Dollars look most vulnerable in such circumstances, facing dual headwinds from relative policy bets and deteriorating sentiment.
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Asia Pacific Trading Session
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--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for DailyFX.com
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