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Forex Analysis & Reviews: Powell vs dollar: will he support or let it float freely?
time 26.08.2022 10:07 AM
time Relevance up to, 31.08.2022 09:10 AM

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At the start of the symposium in Jackson Hole, the intrigue about the succeeding dynamics of the dollar increases. Market participants are tensely waiting for what Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will say and how his speech will affect the current monetary policy and the prospects of the greenback.

At previous symposiums, Powell paid attention to very important issues. In 2020, he announced monetary stimulus for the American economy affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the key moment was the statement about the temporary nature of inflation and the curtailment of incentives. Powell's mistake. His stance on inflation has cost the world and American economies dearly, although this situation is fixable.

In 2022, the theme of the event is a reassessment of the current constraints in the economy, namely a large-scale price increase and ways to combat off-scale inflation. Experts are considering two scenarios of Powell's speeches:

1) Basic

The head of the Fed will once again pay attention to extremely high inflation, stressing that the monetary authorities will fight it. The US central bank will do everything possible to maintain economic growth in the United States.

2) Negative

Powell will confirm that the Fed is following the chosen course and is ready to aggressively raise rates to combat inflation. Against this background, the US economy will experience strong pressure. In addition, there may be an increase in yields and a correction in the markets. However, there are no prerequisites for the implementation of the second scenario.

According to experts, Powell's actions will determine the further dynamics of the greenback. Market participants expect that Powell's speech will clarify the immediate prospects of monetary policy. According to analysts, Powell "will try to manage market expectations" while maintaining the hawkish position of the Fed. On Thursday, August 25, at the symposium that began in Jackson Hole, representatives of the Fed confirmed their intention to raise rates and keep them at a high level until inflation weakens. At the same time, investors remain optimistic about the US currency and cautious with a negative bias towards the European one.

The dollar showed confidence this week, gaining momentum after the release of positive macroeconomic data. As a result, in the second quarter of 2022, the US GDP growth rate was revised upward (from -0.9% to -0.6%). At the same time, the number of applications for unemployment benefits decreased more than expected. After the statistics were released, profitability in the US peaked, but then retreated slightly from high levels.

Experts have recorded a steady growth of the greenback over the current year (by 13.5% against a basket of key currencies). The US currency has risen to its highest level in 20 years, while the euro has fallen by about 12% to below parity, which has not been the case for two decades. At the moment, there are many USD bulls on the market betting on its rise. Traders and investors are confident that the dollar has the strength to continue growing thanks to the hawkish attitude of the Fed and inspiring economic indicators in the United States.

Against this background, the European currency is noticeably losing to its American competitor. The energy crisis in Europe and the European Central Bank's unstable stance on raising rates add fuel to the fire. At the same time, most representatives of the central bank support an interest rate hike by 50 bps. However, many investors are deterred by the deteriorating economic prospects of the eurozone and constantly rising inflation. Against this background, the inflationary situation in the United States looks much more stable than on the other side of the ocean.

According to analysts, double-digit inflation in the eurozone is due to the long-term Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which provoked the energy crisis. Economists fear that the euro bloc countries will fall into the so-called "downward spiral of wage and price growth", from which it is difficult to get out. Against this background, long positions on the euro sharply plunged, which was under pressure.

The failures of the European currency play into the hands of the American one, experts emphasize. According to JPMorgan analysts, the greenback was supported not only by "encouraging economic data" on inflation and employment in the United States, but also by the "growing vulnerability" of the European economy. Recall that in July, the consumer price index in the United States rose by 8.5% in annual terms. At the same time, the unexpected increase in the number of jobs reduced market fears about the onset of a recession.

The US currency has received strong support thanks to the Fed's aggressive rate hike. According to investment analysts at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, this trend will continue in the near future. Against this background, the EUR/USD pair maintains a bearish trend, and the euro still looks vulnerable. Experts note the growing downside risks in relation to the euro.

In the short term, the EUR/USD pair is able to test the parity level again. The euro is still showing weakening, having failed to hold the 1.0000 mark. According to experts, the recovery above the level of 1.0030 will support the single currency. However, now it is rapidly sinking. The EUR/USD pair was near 0.9963 on the morning of Friday, August 26. Currently, experts consider the 0.9950 mark to be the support line, the breakdown of which will pull the pair to the low level of 0.9900.

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Earlier, currency strategists at Capital Economics announced a prolonged period of the euro's weakness amid deteriorating economic conditions in the eurozone. Against this background, the dollar has every chance of rising, as markets expect the Fed to raise rates again in September. The implementation of such a scenario will increase pressure on the euro. However, any signals from the head of the central bank that the Fed recognizes the stabilization of the inflation rate will allow the markets to interpret what has been said in favor of easing the monetary policy. Misinterpretation of Powell's statements can shake the dollar's position and help the short-term recovery of the EUR/USD pair, experts believe.

Larisa Kolesnikova,
Analytical expert of InstaForex
© 2007-2023

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