June 28, 2019 / 12:40 AM / 22 days ago

Dollar little changed awaiting G20 trade news

LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar treaded water on Friday ahead of a meeting between the United States and China at the Group of 20 summit in Japan, shaking off light pressure from U.S. economic data that did nothing to derail speculation about a July interest rate cut.

FILE PHOTO: An employee counts U.S. dollar bills at a money exchange office in central Cairo, Egypt, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

The core U.S. personal consumption expenditure price index rose 0.2% in May, as expected, reinforcing investor expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut rates by at least 25 basis points at the next meeting.

As result, the dollar reaction to the data was limited and the euro was trading late in the day at $1.1372 EUR=, 0.04% firmer against the greenback on the day.

“In the big themes today, the data doesn’t change the July cut,” said Kenneth Broux, head of corporate research at Societe Generale.

The euro was on track for its biggest monthly gain since February 2018 on the back of broad-based dollar weakness, although it was off 0.9% for the first half of the year.

It remains unclear whether U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will agree on a truce when they meet at the G20, or escalate their trade conflict further, leaving investors unsure about how to trade the dollar.

Still, markets are hoping that a meeting between the leaders of the two largest economies will bring progress on trade, despite fraught negotiations.

“I’m personally quite pessimistic on any deal being made,” said Jordan Rochester, G10 forex strategist at Nomura.

However, any falls in the dollar are unlikely to become sustained and so “the euro at $1.14 is a sell,” Rochester said.

While inflation expectations in the United States and Europe have declined in recent weeks, as measured by forward-starting swaps, U.S. gauges have stabilized after the Fed opened the door to rate cuts last week.

In comparison, policy interest rates in Europe are already in negative territory and Europe’s most widely watched measure of inflation expectations - the five-year forward rate - has started declining again.

“The elbow-room for the ECB to ease policy is far more limited than the (U.S.) Fed and that is weighing on the euro,” said Esther Reichelt, FX strategist at Commerzbank.

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the U.S. currency against six of its peers, was at 96.15, little changed on the week.

The dollar traded at 107.76 yen JPY=, little changed on the day but on course for a 0.4% gain this week as the greenback mounted a recovery from a five-month low of 106.77 yen reached on Tuesday.

Reporting by Olga Cotaga, Saikat Chatterjee and Alden Bentley; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jonathan Oatis

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