Q2 has kicked off with moderate volatility witnessed across various market sectors. Recent events, such as Wednesday’s US inflation data and the release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes, have had a notable impact on the forex market, particularly the US dollar.
The US dollar has weakened after headline inflation fell for the ninth consecutive month, and the Fed minutes revealed growing concerns about the possibility of a “mild recession” later in the year. As a result, the US dollar has touched an eight-week low and is expected to face further downward pressure with limited near-term support to halt the sell-off.
In contrast, the Euro has been showing strength, pushing higher against the weakened US dollar. The combination of a weaker US dollar and a slightly stronger Euro has led to the EUR/USD pair climbing back above 1.1000 and towards the early February multi-month high at 1.10330.
With the softening of US Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) as well as easing labor market conditions, the Federal Reserve is anticipated to reconsider further rate hikes, possibly pausing its policy-tightening cycle earlier than previously expected.
As the US Dollar Index (DXY) struggles to defend its downside momentum, the major currency pair, EUR/USD, is expected to continue its upward trajectory towards the round-level resistance of 1.1100. The recent higher-than-anticipated softening of the US PPI report has strengthened the need for the Fed to adopt a more neutral policy stance, which has bolstered the overall positive sentiment in the market.
Furthermore, the weakening US dollar has continued to support the price of gold, with the looming risks of a potential recession further benefiting the safe-haven XAU/USD pair. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently revised down its global growth outlook for 2023, citing the impact of higher interest rates and have fuelled recession fears and dampened investors’ appetite for riskier assets. Consequently, traditional safe-haven assets like gold have seen increased demand, supporting prospects for further appreciation in the near-term for XAU/USD.
In conclusion, Q2 has begun with moderate volatility in the market, with the US dollar facing downward pressure and the Euro gaining strength. The Federal Reserve’s potential reconsideration of further rate hikes and the uncertainties surrounding the global economy have impacted market sentiment. As a result, the safe-haven assets, including gold, have benefitted, further supporting a positive outlook for the XAU/USD pair in the near-term.