Dollar in distress: US inflation miss shakes markets
The past fortnight has been eventful with high volatility observed in both Emerging Markets (EM) and major currencies. The significant development was a sharp decline in the US Dollar (USD). Indeed, the USD Index reported one of the largest weekly sell-offs since the Global Financial Crisis.
Investors reacted to a less-than-expected set of US inflation figures. The headline inflation dropped to 3% in March 2021, while the core inflation decreased to below 5% in November 2021.
The sell-off in the USD can be attributed to increased market expectations that the Federal Reserve might halt interest rate hikes by this summer. The expectation currently stands at a 25 basis point hike in July, with the date projected for 26/07. However, indications suggest this could be the last hike in the current cycle, with futures showing a 1-in-4 chance by November.