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Dollar finds foothold ahead of jobs opening, services PMI data

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar stabilized in early European trade Tuesday, near a one-week high, as traders scaled back dovish Federal Reserve bets ahead of key economic data releases.

At 04:30 ET (09:30 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded largely unchanged at 103.559, after recording its weakest monthly performance in a year in November.

Greenback finds support ahead of key data

The dollar was on the backfoot for most of November as traders began pricing in bigger rate cuts by the Fed next year than by any other major central bank.

However, the greenback has found some support with traders scaling back those bets ahead of the release of a series of important data releases this week, starting later in the session with U.S. job openings and ISM services activity data, before the widely watched nonfarm payrolls on Friday.

“We suspect markets may be positioning ahead of next week’s Fed meeting, when Chair Jerome Powell may insist on his pushback against rate cut bets,” said analysts at ING, in a note.

“Today, however, market moves will be heavily impacted by two important data releases: JOLTS job openings and the ISM services. The first probably holds the keys to a bigger market reaction, given the proximity to U.S. payrolls data and the fact that markets are anxiously waiting for signs of a decisive turn lower in the jobs market to jump on bearish dollar positions.”

Eurozone heading for recession

In Europe, EUR/USD edged lower to 1.0835, close to Monday’s three-week low, after the eurozone’s composite PMI rose to 47.6, its best reading since July, from October's near three-year low of 46.5, and above a 47.1 preliminary estimate.

While the downturn in the region’s business activity eased last month, it still suggested the bloc's economy will contract again this quarter, pointing to a regional recession. Last quarter the economy contracted 0.1%, according to official data.

Eurozone inflation tumbled to 2.4% last month from above 10% a year earlier, putting it close to the ECB's 2% inflation target.

The European Central Bank can take further interest rate hikes off the table given a "remarkable" fall in inflation and policymakers should not guide for rates to remain steady through mid-2024, ECB board member Isabel Schnabel, a known hawk, said Tuesday.

GBP/USD fell 0.1% to 1.2624, retreating further from its recent three-month top of 1.2733.

Aussie dollar slumps after RBA meeting

In Asia, AUD/USD fell 0.6% to 0.6581 after the Reserve Bank of Australia held its benchmark interest rate steady at 4.35%, after hiking by 25 basis points in October.

Governor Michele Bullock said that the bank needed more economic cues before considering any more changes to monetary policy, but warned that inflation risks still persisted.

USD/JPY traded 0.1% lower to 147.07, some distance away from the three-decade low of 151.92 it touched in the middle of November, even as growth in the country’s services sector missed expectations in November.

USD/CNY traded largely unchanged at 7.1418, even as a private survey showed the country’s services sector grew more than expected in November. But the yuan was presented with new downside risks from growing fears of another epidemic in the country, as local media reports showed a spike in respiratory illnesses across major Chinese cities.

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