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US Dollar Outlook: DXY Whipsaws as Fed’s Powell Stays Evasive

US Dollar Outlook: DXY Whipsaws as Fed’s Powell Stays Evasive

Rich Dvorak, Analyst

US DOLLAR UNDER PRESSURE WITH FOMC STILL VIEWING INFLATION AS TRANSITORY

  • The US Dollar pivoted lower on Wednesday with the broader DXY Index dropping -0.25%
  • US Dollar price action weakened as Fed Chair Powell stuck to his accommodative stance
  • The FOMC still sees substantial progress on jobs a ways off and inflation as transitory

The US Dollar whipsawed on Wednesday as initial strength quickly turned into weakness around the Fed. FOMC officials unanimously left policy unchanged as anticipated, but updated language in the press statement acknowledged how the economy is making progress toward the central bank’s maximum employment and price stability goals.

This caused a knee-jerk reaction by US Dollar bulls as this appeared to give a nod to the threshold for tapering asset purchases. Upon scrutinizing exact verbiage in the statement, however, markets discovered the key “substantial” qualifier was left out. That fueled US Dollar bears to fade the rally with selling pressure accelerating after Fed Chair Powell expounded on this messaging.

FED CHAIR POWELL SAYS WE ARE A WAYS AWAY FROM SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS ON JOBS

Specifically, Fed Chair Powell noted how the labor market still has a ways to go before reaching substantial further progress. Powell added that while conditions have improved and demand is strong, the unemployment rate continues to understate the degree of joblessness. The Federal Reserve head also echoed how the central bank still sees inflation as transitory and long-term inflation expectations in line with its goal.

Powell also mentioned that while successive waves of COVID-19 are having diminishing impact on the economy, it is plausible that consumers might pull back on activity due to fears surrounding the delta variant. This all seemed to strike a dovish tone and provide justification for the Fed to stay patiently accommodative as officials debate the scope and timing of tapering. As such, upcoming releases of employment data and the annual Jackson Hole symposium stand out as key risk events for markets.

DXY INDEX – US DOLLAR PRICE CHART: DAILY TIME FRAME (17 FEB TO 28 JULY 2021)

DXY Index Price Chart US Dollar Forecast

Chart by @RichDvorakFX created using TradingView

Shifting focus to a technical perspective, it looks like the US Dollar could be primed to surrender recent gains. This is considering how the broader DXY Index just closed below ascending trendline support and the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level of its latest bullish leg. Likewise, negative divergence seen on the relative strength index and accelerating downward momentum as suggested by the MACD both serve as constructive developments for US Dollar bears. Continued US Dollar weakness might see the DXY Index extend its slide toward the 50-day simple moving average.

-- Written by Rich Dvorak, Analyst for DailyFX.com

Connect with @RichDvorakFX on Twitter for real-time market insight

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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