NEW YORK - The dollar fell on Friday as investors evaluated how high the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates by when it meets later this month and as investors took profits after a strong rally that sent the greenback to a two-decade high on Thursday.
The greenback has jumped as the Fed is expected to raise rates faster and further than peer central banks as inflation soars to four-decade highs. The dollar briefly gained on Friday after data showed that U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in June.
“It’s a little bit better than expected, but I think everyone realizes that probably that is due to inflation,” said Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FXStreet.com in New York. He added that investors are closing positions before the weekend, and after “a long, strong run in the dollar.”
The dollar index was last at 108.24, down 0.30% on the day. It reached 109.29 on Thursday, the highest since September 2002. The euro gained 0.39% to $1.0062. It traded as low as $0.9952 on Thursday, the weakest since December 2002. Traders ramped up bets that the Fed will hike rates even faster after data on Wednesday showed U.S. annual consumer prices jumped 9.1% in June, the largest increase in more than four decades.
Odds of a 100 basis points move fell, however, after two of the most hawkish Fed officials on Thursday said they would prefer a 75 basis points hike. Fed funds futures now indicate a 73% chance of a 75 basis points increase and a 27% chance of a 100 basis points increase.
The euro faces two major catalysts next week, with the European Central Bank expected to hike rates by 25 basis points for the first time since 2011 when it meets on July 21. Investors will also be focused on whether the critical Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany from Russia will reopen, after closing for maintenance this week. It is planned to reopen on July 21, but European governments are worried that Moscow could extend that in order to restrict European gas supply, disrupting plans to build up storage for winter.
The dollar slipped 0.09% against the Japanese yen, after hitting a 24-year high on Thursday as the Japanese central bank maintains a dovish stance that contrasts with hawkish moves by other central banks.
The Australian dollar gained 0.29%, after dropping to a two-year low on Thursday on concerns about global growth.
(Reporting by Karen Brettell; editing by Jonathan Oatis)