. U.S. Dollar Strengthens on Rising Rate Hike Expectations - 26 May

U.S. Dollar Strengthens on Rising Rate Hike Expectations

U.S. Dollar Strengthens on Rising Rate Hike Expectations

26 May 2023

U.S. Dollar Gains Ground as Rate Hike Expectations Grow


In early European trading, the U.S. dollar saw a slight decline, but it remained on track for its third consecutive weekly gain. The Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, fell 0.1% to 104.040, just below the two-month high reached on Thursday. The currency’s strength is driven by growing expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes and positive economic data. However, the market focus remains on the upcoming release of the personal consumption expenditure index, a key indicator of inflation, which will influence the Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting.

U.S. Dollar’s Weekly Gains

Despite minor losses, the U.S. dollar is set for its third consecutive weekly gain, approaching nearly 1%. Traders are positioning themselves for the possibility that U.S. interest rates will remain higher for a longer period. Recent data revealed that the number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased moderately, while first-quarter GDP growth was revised higher. These indicators contribute to the growing belief that the Federal Reserve may raise rates again in June, with futures traders split between expecting a rate hike and a pause.

Safe-Haven Status and Debt Ceiling Concerns

The U.S. dollar has also benefited from its safe-haven status due to the lack of progress in reaching a deal to raise the U.S. government’s debt ceiling of $31.4 trillion. As the early-June deadline approaches, the two sides are reportedly getting closer to an agreement. However, any deal would need approval from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-controlled Senate.

EUR/USD and Potential Interest Rate Hikes

EUR/USD experienced a slight increase, reaching 1.0731, remaining close to a two-month low. European Central Bank (ECB) officials have hinted at further interest rate hikes to address elevated inflation. Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel emphasized the ECB’s commitment to tackling inflation, signaling that the Governing Council will continue its monetary-tightening path.

GBP/USD and Positive British Retail Sales

GBP/USD rose 0.2% to 1.2344 after British retail sales exceeded expectations, increasing by 0.5% in April compared to March. This improvement, following a previous drop of 1.2%, suggests a degree of resilience in consumer spending. With the UK’s inflation rate among the highest in the G7 and consumer spending showing strength, the Bank of England is likely to raise interest rates further next month.

USD/JPY and Tokyo Inflation Data

USD/JPY edged 0.2% lower to 139.78, just off a six-month high, following softer-than-expected Tokyo inflation data. This outcome has increased expectations that the Bank of Japan will delay tightening its monetary policy this year.

AUD/USD and USD/CNY Movements

AUD/USD rose 0.3% to 0.6522, while USD/CNY fell 0.4% to 7.0524, rebounding from a six-month high but remaining above the key 7 levels. These movements reflect ongoing dynamics between the Australian and Chinese currencies and their relationship with the U.S. dollar.


The U.S. dollar’s recent gains, driven by growing expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes and positive economic indicators, have positioned it for a third consecutive weekly gain. Factors such as inflation data, progress on the U.S. debt ceiling, and global economic conditions will continue to influence the currency’s trajectory. As market participants monitor central bank actions and economic developments, the U.S. dollar’s strength will likely remain in focus in the coming weeks.