Forex - U.S. Dollar Inches Up; Fed Officials’ Comments in Focus

The U.S. dollar inched up on Monday in Asia as investors turned their attention to global central bank decisions scheduled for the next two weeks, starting with the European Central Bank which meets on Thursday followed by the Bank of Japan and then the Federal Reserve next week.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.1% to 96.875 by 1:01 AM ET (05:01 GMT).

Expectations for a 50-basis-point Fed cut soared last week after a dovish speech by New York Fed President John Williams. But investors tempered expectations after a Fed spokesman clarified that the remarks did not refer to potential policy action at the upcoming Fed meeting.

Expectations for a larger cut were scaled back even more after the Wall Street Journal reported the Fed was likely to cut rates by 25 bps this month, and may make further cuts in the future given global growth and trade uncertainties.

On Friday, James Bullard, another member of the U.S. central bank, said he favors lowering interest rates by a quarter point when officials meet later this month.

The EUR/USD pair edged down 0.04% to 1.1215. The European Central Bank’s policy meeting will be closely watched as investors wait to see what steps Mario Draghi may take to support the euro area economy.

The USD/JPY pair trade 0.3% higher to 107.96. Japan’s manufacturing data is due on Wednesday.

The GBP/USD pair slipped 0.1% as concerns over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit continue to build. The British pound traded near a 27-month low against the dollar last week before recovering slightly on Friday.

The AUD/USD pair was little changed at 0.7038, while the NZD/USD pair was up 0.2% to 0.6776.