Friday, September 19, 2014

US dollar gained ground

The US dollar gained ground against gold on Wednesday following the Federal Reserve statement. The Fed statement reaffirmed that interest rates would remain ultra-low for a “considerable time” after the asset purchase scheme (QE) ends next month, but surprised the markets in hinting that once a rate hike was introduced, rate levels could move up more quickly than expected. As expected, the Fed trimmed QE by $10 billion/month, and the remaining $15 billion/month is scheduled to be phased out in October.
US inflation data was worse than expected on Wednesday. CPI, the primary gauge of consumer inflation, came in at -0.2%, its first drop since October. The estimate stood at +0.1%. Core CPI followed suit with a flat reading of 0.0%. This was the first time the index failed to post a gain since October 2010. The weak numbers follow disappointing manufacturing inflation data. PPI, a key event, dipped to just 0.0%, a 3-month low. The estimate stood at 0.1%. Core PPI slipped to 0.1%, down from 0.2% a month earlier. This matched the forecast. Low inflation continues to be a concern and could delay an interest rate hike in 2015.