Forex – Dollar Falls as Slowing Inflation Prompts Bets on Fed Rate Cut

© Reuters. – The U.S. dollar fell against its rivals Friday as traders bet the Federal Reserve will cut rates after better-than-expected U.S. first-quarter growth data was offset by slowing inflation.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.26% to 97.66.

The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, in the 12 months through March, from 1.8% the previous month.

The inflation slowdown raised expectations that the Fed may cut rates, despite analysts suggesting a continued pause on monetary policy was the more likely course of action.

“Despite the move in core inflation in the wrong direction, we believe the Fed is firmly on hold,” Hedge Fund Economics said in a note.

Interest rates moved lower Friday. The fell to 2.504% and is down 6.8% this year.

increased at a 3.2% annual rate in the January-March period, the Commerce Department said in its preliminary estimate on Friday, handily beating economists’ forecasts for a 2.0% increase.

But a deeper dive into the data revealed that the composition of growth during the quarter was based on gains in private inventory investment and foreign trade. However, personal consumption, which makes up two-thirds of economic activity, slowed. This is likely to result in a drag on second-quarter growth, according to analysts.

“Though much of the upside came from net exports and inventories, core final private domestic demand also came in stronger than anticipated but still the weakest pace since Q2 2013,” Morgan Stanley said in a note. “The composition of growth in 1Q suggests that headline growth will likely come in weaker next quarter, where our initial 2Q GDP tracking estimate points to 1.1% growth.”

rose 0.28% to $1.2933, but it remained on track to post its worst week in a month amid a lack of progress on Brexit talks and concerns that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal will be defeated for a fourth time in a vote in parliament next week.

climbed 0.25% to $1.1158 and fell 0.05% to Y111.57.

fell 0.18% C$1.3460, but downside was limited as falling oil prices kept a lid on the loonie.

were down 3.5% to $62.93 a barrel this afternoon. crude, the North Sea oil used as a global benchmark, was down 3.8% to $71.54.

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