Dollar Steady Amid Awaited U.S. Inflation Data; Yen Weakness Spurs Intervention Fears

Market Overview

The U.S. dollar remained stable on Tuesday as investors eagerly await a crucial U.S. inflation report later this week, which is expected to significantly influence the Federal Reserve’s rate outlook. Concurrently, the Japanese yen hovers near a two-week low, triggering concerns of potential intervention by Japanese authorities.

U.S. Dollar Outlook

The currency market has experienced minimal movement this week, with investors focused on discerning the Federal Reserve’s next steps following recent softer-than-expected U.S. labor market data. Comments from Fed officials have indicated that the central bank is unlikely to raise rates further, causing investors to scale back their expectations of rate cuts this year. Current market pricing suggests 42 basis points of easing by year-end, down from the 150 basis points anticipated at the start of 2024. Additionally, the probability of a rate cut in September has decreased to 60%, compared to 75% a month earlier, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

Investors’ attention is primarily fixed on the upcoming Consumer Price Index (CPI) report on Wednesday, expected to show a 0.3% month-on-month increase in core consumer prices for April, down from 0.4% the previous month, according to a Reuters poll. Before the CPI release, the U.S. Producer Price Index (PPI) is set to be released later on Tuesday, which analysts will scrutinize for further indications of the inflation trajectory.

EUR/USD and GBP/USD Movements

The euro (EUR/USD) slightly eased to $1.0786 but has gained 1% against the dollar so far this month. Meanwhile, the British pound (GBP/USD) was last at $1.2559, up approximately 0.5% for May.

The dollar index (DXY), which measures the U.S. currency against six major peers, was last at 105.27, having declined about 1% this month. Nearly two-thirds of economists now expect the Fed to cut its key interest rate twice this year, starting in September, up from just over half in the previous survey.

Economic Data and Market Sentiment

With no rate cuts expected until July and possibly not until September, alongside the next earnings season being two months away, the only significant drivers of market direction in the near term are inflation and economic data. U.S. retail sales data, due on Wednesday, and industrial production figures, set for Thursday, will also be closely watched.

A softer CPI report, combined with a recent weaker payrolls report, could reignite market expectations of a July rate cut, putting downward pressure on the dollar. Conversely, any signs of economic cooling in the U.S. would be viewed positively for global markets, suggesting a benign outlook for U.S. inflation and interest rates.

Japanese Yen Concerns

The yen (USD/JPY) remains a focal point as it nears levels that previously prompted suspected interventions by Tokyo. The yen was last at 156.41 per U.S. dollar, having touched a two-week low of 156.50 earlier in the session. Japan’s Ministry of Finance is suspected of having intervened in the currency market from the end of April to early May after the yen hit a 34-year low of 160.245 on April 29.

Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki stated on Tuesday that the government will closely work with the Bank of Japan to ensure there is no friction between their mutual policy objectives. He emphasized that it is crucial for the exchange rate to reflect economic fundamentals and remain stable.

The yen experienced brief support on Monday when the Bank of Japan sent a hawkish signal by reducing its offer amount for a segment of Japanese government bonds. However, the market remains bearish on the currency due to the significant interest rate differential between Japan and other major economies.

Other Currency Movements

In other currencies, the Australian dollar (AUD/USD) was 0.11% lower at $0.6601, while the New Zealand dollar (NZD/USD) was flat at $0.6016.


The outlook for the U.S. dollar remains heavily contingent on the upcoming CPI report, which will be pivotal in shaping market expectations for Federal Reserve policy. Meanwhile, the Japanese yen continues to face pressure amid intervention concerns and significant interest rate differentials. Investors are advised to closely monitor economic data releases and central bank communications for further market direction.