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Market Watch: Fed Caution & Labor Report in Focus

Fed labor report

The US Fed is cautious amid inflation fears, and Asia awaits Australia’s labor report. The dollar, gold outlook, and more are analyzed.

In the US session, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester delivered a speech at the South Franklin Circle Dialogues Series, indicating price pressures to ease this year. Mester emphasized that while this could pave the way for interest rate reductions, such moves would only occur when policymakers gain confidence in sustainable inflation reaching the Fed’s 2% target. Her remarks echoed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s stance, urging prudence amidst re-accelerating inflationary pressures.

Throughout the session, the dollar index (DXY) hovered under 106.30, dipping below 106 as trading concluded in the US.

Asia Session Focuses on Australia’s Labor Market

As the Asia session commences, all eyes turn to Australia’s March labor force report release. Forecasts suggest a significant moderation in employment growth compared to February’s robust figures. With expectations of softer job gains and a potential uptick in the unemployment rate, the Australian dollar (AUD) may encounter headwinds in the morning session.

Market Watch: Fed Caution & Labor Report in Focus

Key Events Ahead

Investors are closely monitoring the following key events:

  • Unemployment Claims (12:30 pm GMT)
  • FOMC Member Bowman Speaks (1:15 pm GMT)

Outlook for DXY and Gold

The dollar index (DXY) faces potential downward pressure if unemployment claims surpass the forecasted 215K. At the same time, remarks from Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman could influence market sentiment towards the dollar later in the day.

Gold prices may experience a boost if unemployment claims exceed expectations, contributing to downward pressure on the dollar. However, any hawkish rhetoric from Governor Bowman could temper gold’s gains.

A Look at Other Major Currencies

  • Euro (EUR): Modest bullish sentiment persists as ECB President Christine Lagarde hints at maintaining the current inflation target.
  • Japanese Yen (JPY): Japan’s core CPI reading remains elevated, potentially strengthening the yen against the USD.
  • British Pound (GBP): Despite easing consumer inflation, the pound’s outlook remains cautiously bullish.
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD): The Loonie faces resistance amid quantitative tightening policies by the Bank of Canada.

Oil Market Under Pressure

Crude oil prices plummeted following higher-than-anticipated increases in API and EIA inventories. Despite ongoing geopolitical tensions, demand concerns outweigh current risks, leading to a medium bearish bias for oil prices.

As markets brace for upcoming economic data and central bank speeches, cautious optimism prevails amidst lingering inflation fears and evolving global dynamics.

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