US Dollar Slightly Lower Awaiting Jerome Powell's Speech
During the Asian session, the US dollar fell slightly against the Japanese yen and other major currencies, but then stabilized, as investors await the first speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in Congress this week, where he can give clues about the future policy of the US central bank. The US dollar index, that tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, last stood at 89.69, down 0.19%. It once broke the 90 handle last week thanks to the upbeat tone of the Fed’s January minutes published last week, but then lost its rally.
Jerome Powell will present the Fed's semi-annual report on monetary policy to the House of Representatives committee on Tuesday and to the Senate committee on Thursday. Investors will monitor whether the Fed will be able to raise interest rates more often or more than planned. Markets expect three rate hikes this year and two in 2019.
The Japanese yen moderately strengthened after the Governor of the Bank of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda, speaking in Parliament, said that the Bank of Japan will persistently continue the powerful easing of monetary policy, as Japan's economy is expanding very smoothly. The politician also said that constant strong easing is important for achieving the inflation target of 2%.
Gold prices edged up on Monday, rebounding from the worst week in more than two months. Gold prices fell 1.4% last week, which was its biggest decline in two and a half months.Gold gained $8.30, or 0.62%, to trade at $1,338.60.
Meanwhile, the US 10-year Treasury yield eased today to 2.866%, continuing a slip that started last week after hitting a four-year high of 2.957% on Wednesday.