USD Receives Boost On Hawkish Yellen Comments

Dear Traders,

The U.S. dollar was bolstered by hawkish comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on the first day of her testimony. While Yellen did not reveal much new information, she was surprisingly hawkish, saying that “waiting too long to remove accommodation would be unwise, potentially requiring the FOMC to eventually raise rates rapidly, which could risk disrupting financial markets”. In other words, the pace of interest rate hikes could accelerate, still leaving the door open for a hike in March. Market participants will now shift their focus to the U.S. Consumer Price data with the intention to evaluate the need for faster rate normalization.

The greenback traded higher against the euro and British pound and while we generally expect further gains in the dollar, traders should also prepare for some pullbacks in short-term time frames.

The euro found some halt at 1.0560 and it may now tend to correct recent losses towards 1.0615 and possibly even 1.0630. Today’s price action will, however, again hinge on the demand for dollars. In case of better-than-expected CPI data the euro could extend its losses towards 1.0540 and 1.05.

The British pound dropped towards 1.2440 after the U.K. Consumer Price Index failed to meet market expectations. Signs of weaker price growth may encourage the Bank of England to maintain a neutral monetary policy. From a technical perspective, the cable is still confined within a sideways trading range between 1.2550/85 and 1.2440. A break below 1.2440 may prompt sterling bears to sell sterling towards 1.2350 and further 1.2270. On the topside, the pound will need to break through 1.2530 and 1.2560 in order to invigorate fresh bullish momentum.

We will keep an eye on the U.K. Labor Market report, due for release at 9:30 UTC, which could affect the price action in the GBP/USD, provided that there is any surprise.

Higher volatility is expected during the U.S. session with Consumer Prices and Advance Retail Sales scheduled for release at 13:30 UTC.

Fed Chair Yellen will testify before the House Financial Services Committee at 15:00 UTC.

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