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© Reuters. – The U.S. dollar retreated in early European trade Friday, while the euro rebounded from multi-month lows after the European Central Bank’s latest meeting signaled the rate hike will be its last. 

At 03:20 ET (07:20 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% lower to 104.982, falling from the previous session’s six-month peak of 105.43.

ECB signals interest rates peak

rose 0.2% to 1.0667, bouncing from Thursday’s new three-month low seen in the wake of the latest policy-setting meeting.

Although the central bank raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points to a record peak on Thursday, it also signaled this will likely be its final increase in its more-than year-long fight against high inflation.

“With today’s decision we have made sufficient contributions under current assessment to returning inflation to target in a timely manner,” said ECB , in the press conference following the rate announcement. 

The central bank also raised its forecasts for inflation, which it now expects to come down more slowly towards its 2% target over the next two years, while cutting its expectations for economic growth.

“A further weakening of the economy and more traction in a disinflationary trend will make it very hard to find arguments for additional rate hikes any time soon,” analysts at ING, said in a note.

Fed to keep hawkish stance

The dollar had surged overnight after U.S. received a boost from higher gasoline prices, increasing 0.6% in August versus an estimated 0.2% rise, while U.S. rose by more than anticipated in August.

The Federal Reserve is still expected to keep interest rates on hold when it meets next week, but the resilience of the economy is likely to mean that the U.S. central bank reiterates its hawkish stance.

“Evidence of slower disinflation has provided an incentive to keep one hike in the dot plot projections for the end of 2023, while resilient U.S. data may well see a revision higher of the 2024 median plot (currently embedding 100bp of easing),” added ING. “We doubt that sort of adjustment would come as a shock to markets, but would further discourage bearish positioning on the dollar.”

BOJ and BOE to meet next week

Elsewhere, fell 0.1% to 7.2704, but the yuan buoyed by and data coming in higher than expected for August, indicating some resilience in the economy.

rose 0.2% to 147.74, with focus turning to a meeting next week, following some signals from policymakers that an end to its negative rate regime was close.

rose 0.2% to 1.2429, hovering above a three-month low, with the set to meet next week having raised interest rates for the 14th time in a row at its last meeting.



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