Dollar Gains Amid Strong U.S. Economy and Cautious Fed Stance

Azeez Mustapha


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In a week marked by robust U.S. economic performance, the dollar has continued its upward trajectory, showcasing resilience in contrast to its global counterparts. Central bankers’ cautious approach to rapid interest rate cuts has tempered market expectations, fostering the greenback’s ascent.

Dollar Index Surges to 1.92% YTD

The dollar index, a gauge measuring the currency against six major counterparts, has marked a 0.88% gain this week, contributing to an overall increase of 1.92% for the year. Closing the week at a steady 103.32, the index underscores the dollar’s robust standing in international markets.

Dollar daily chart from TradingView
DXY Daily Chart

The euro, constituting a significant portion of the dollar index, faced a 0.55% loss this week, attributed to the eurozone’s struggle with sluggish growth and inflation. As of Friday, the euro showed marginal improvement at $1.0889.

Japan’s yen, grappling with economic challenges and a recent earthquake, recorded a 5.07% loss against the dollar this year. On Friday, the yen remained unchanged at 148.18 following data revealing a dip in Japan’s core inflation rate to 2.6%, the lowest since June 2022.

The pound also experienced a decline this week, dropping 0.16% to $1.2684 on Friday. U.K. retail sales plummeted by 3.2% in December, amplifying concerns about the British economy.

UK Retail sale chart
Image via Trading Economics

Fed’s Rate Cut Projections Get Shaky

Amidst these global shifts, investors have recalibrated expectations for aggressive Federal Reserve rate cuts. Anticipating 140 basis points of cuts this year, down from 165 a week ago, and revising the probability of a March cut from 77% to 46%, investors respond to the outperformance of the U.S. economy.

US Fed target rate probability chart
Image via CME FedWatch Tool

Thursday’s U.S. labor market data, revealing the lowest weekly jobless claims in 1 1/2 years, has reinforced the case for a robust American economy. Federal Reserve official Christopher Waller emphasized the need for a cautious and deliberate approach in light of the economy’s strength, countering expectations of precipitous rate declines.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar, typically buoyed by increased risk appetite, experienced a 1.45% decline this week, landing at $0.6588 and remaining 3.26% lower for the year. The market continues to navigate uncertainties, closely monitoring global economic dynamics that influence the dollar’s performance.


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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