LONDON - The dollar consolidated against other major currencies on Monday as traders waited for U.S. inflation data that could help determine whether the Federal Reserve could lower borrowing costs in 2024 and by how much.

Recent softer-than-expected U.S. labour market data and a Federal Reserve that ruled out further interest rate rises saw traders price in more easing from the Fed this year.

Markets are pricing in around an 80% chance of a rate cut by the Fed's September meeting, with about 40 basis points (bps) of cuts in total expected in 2024, LSEG data showed.

Comments by Fed officials last week varied as some rate-setters debated whether interest rates were high enough. A jump in consumers' inflation expectations, revealed in a survey on Friday, could further complicate the conversation.

With recent data indicating an economy that is slowing slightly from the robust growth seen in 2023, investors are looking to confirm how sticky inflation is.

The market will have a chance this week, with U.S. inflation readings in the form of the producer price index (PPI) on Tuesday followed by the consumer price index (CPI) on Wednesday.

"CPI is such a big, polarising event for the whole market," said ING FX strategist Francesco Pesole.

"It's a possibility going into the event for the market to hold dollars given the recent tendency for inflation data to surprise to the upside," Pesole added.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of six others, was little changed at 105.30, following its first weekly rise in three weeks last week.

The euro was up less than 0.1% at $1.0777, while sterling was flat at $1.2522 before labour market data on Tuesday.

"For the wheels to truly fall off of the U.S. dollar, incoming data needs to point to disinflation, not just pockets of weakness here and there," said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index.


As markets look ahead this week to U.S. CPI, the yen won't be far from traders' minds amid an ongoing risk of currency intervention by Japanese authorities.

"There's a chance that if we see another strong U.S. CPI print that Japan will need to deploy another big amount for FX intervention," ING's Pesole said.

The dollar has crept up again against the yen after a 3% decline at the start of the month, its steepest weekly percentage drop since early December 2022, after two bouts of suspected intervention by Japanese authorities to strengthen its currency.

Those spikes of yen strength appear to have spooked some yen bears, at least for now.

Yen futures data from the CFTC showed non-commercial short positions have fallen sharply from the 179,919 contracts on April 23, which was the most since June 2007.

The dollar was holding at 155.87 yen, after touching its highest since May 2 at 155.965.

The yen was briefly supported when the Bank of Japan sent a hawkish signal by cutting its offer amount for a segment of Japanese government bonds in the Asian morning.

China's offshore yuan eased 0.1% to 7.2412 while the onshore yuan fell to its lowest since April 30 at 7.2385, as traders waited for the United States to announce new China tariffs.

The Chinese central bank said over the weekend that new bank lending fell more than expected in April and broad credit growth hit a record low.

Separate data on Saturday showed Chinese consumer prices rose in April while producer prices extended declines.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin was up 2% to $61,676.

(Reporting by Samuel Indyk and Brigid Riley; Editing by Christian Schmollinger, Kirsten Donovan)