US Dollar Strengthened Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s May Meeting


The main event of the Easter week was the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting that ended last Thursday. The central bank left the monetary policy unchanged and even though it sounded more hawkish than expected, the euro lost ground against the US dollar.

The ECB announced that it would end its asset purchases in the third quarter of this year but acknowledged that the ECB and the Fed are on different paths in their policy normalization plans.

While the ECB may deliver one or two rate hikes this year, the Fed already hiked once. Moreover, many voices inside the FOMC Committee favor a 50bp rate hike in May, thus widening the gap between the interest rates on the two sides of the Atlantic.

Since COVID-19 started two years ago, many have been shocked by the Fed’s and other central banks’ responses to the pandemic. Monetary and fiscal policies expansion have led to excessive inflation, hurting savings and driving investors into inflation-protecting assets.

Some bought cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum in the hope that they will keep their value intact. Some other ones bought gold, the traditional hedge against inflation.

But the one currency that did appreciate was the US dollar. With all the doom and gloom over the years, the US dollar remains the de-facto world’s reserve currency.

The greenback has no rival, as almost 60% of the world’s reserves are in dollars. The euro comes in a distant second place, while the Japanese yen is in third place.

This is an important statistic ahead of the Fed’s May meeting. The three central banks (the Fed, the ECB, and the Bank of Japan) have different and divergent monetary policies.

As mentioned earlier, the Fed started to tighten the monetary policy. Excessive inflation will push the  Fed to hike at every meeting in 2022 and, most likely, more than 25bp.

Moreover, the Fed has begun the process of shrinking its balance sheet. Quantitative tightening is the opposite of quantitative easing, thus contributing to even tighter financial conditions.

The ECB, as argued above, is nowhere near the Fed in terms of policy normalization. While inflation in Europe is above the ECB’s target, the war in Ukraine prevents the central bank from raising rates too fast.

As for the Bank of Japan is involved in a yield curve control process that led to one of the fastest depreciation on record for the Japanese yen.

Therefore, the central banks of the three top currencies in which reserves are kept have divergent policies. They all favor a stronger dollar ahead of the Fed’s May meeting and beyond.

This article represents the opinion of the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand only. It is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation with respect to products and services provided by the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand, nor is it to be considered financial advice.

Latest from Financial Market News

Economic calendar: NASDAQ 100 May Keep Falling, High Volatility in Oil Markets, Potential Appreciation of the US Dollar Financial Markets Waking Up after a Turbulent Week: Important News Economic Calendar: RBA, BOJ, BOE, and Fed Meetings Economic Calendar: A Torrent of UK and Chinese Releases, US Inflation and Inventories, and ECB Meeting Economic Calendar: US PMI Data, Stock Market Decline, and Oil Surge

Latest articles

Forex Analysis

Market Analysis: The Yen and European Currencies Headed to New Lows

The main currency pairs began the last five-day trading period of September with a new wave of growth for the American currency. Changes in the Fed's point forecast for next year provided powerful support to the dollar, which, in turn,

Forex Analysis

Market Analysis: US Federal Reserve Contemplates Future Interest Rate Hikes Amid Economic Resilience

In an intriguing turn of events, the US Federal Reserve has hinted at the possibility of yet another interest rate hike in the near future, keeping financial markets on their toes. During its September 2023 meeting, the Federal Reserve chose

Forex Analysis

USD/JPY Analysis: For the First Time This Year, the Rate Exceeds 149 Yen Per Dollar

The reason for the stable trend, as we have repeatedly pointed out, is the difference in the monetary policy of the USA and Japan. Inflation in Japan has been above 2% for more than a year, and the media are

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.