The dollar was up on Friday morning in Asia, set to post a weekly gain. Investors are now beginning to assess the risk that U.S. inflation will rise faster and prompt central bank interest rate hikes sooner than expected.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.02% to 90.755 by 11:23 PM ET (3:23 AM GMT).
Investors digested even more economic data after inflation data, including the core Consumer Price Index, was higher than expected.
U.S. producer prices released on Wednesday were also higher than expected, with the Producer Price Index growing 0.6% month-on-month and 6.2% year-on-year in April.
Further data, including those for retail sales, are due later in the day.
Meanwhile, the number of initial jobless claims for the week fell to a 14-month low of 473,000.
All the data points to a buildup of inflationary pressure in the U.S., as a strong COVID-19 vaccination program allows for the resumption of economic activity.
The data did, however, fail to budge the U.S. Federal Reserve from its current dovish monetary policy. A slew of officials from the central bank, the latest being Fed Governor Christopher Waller, reiterated that the spike in inflation will be temporary.
But the Fed’s assurance was not enough to calm some investors’ concerns.
“Inflation will remain a big theme for markets in the coming few months. The Fed says it will be transitory, but markets are asking ‘what if it turns out not to be transitory,” Daiwa Securities senior strategist Yukio Ishizuki told Reuters.
The data also failed to spark a renewed uptick in Treasury yields with the benchmark 10-year Treasuries yield sliding to 1.651%. Some investors accredited the move to the market already pricing in a degree of inflation worries.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin traded near two-and-a-half month lows as investors continue to digest Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted that the company would not accept the digital currency as a method of payment due to environmental concerns.
Meanwhile, fellow cryptocurrency dogecoin moved in the opposite direction, jumping as much as 20% after Musk said that he was involved in efforts to improve the token’s transaction efficiency.
Investors are also monitoring a U.S. probe into Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges globally.
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