Goldman Says To Bet On Weaker U.S. Dollar After Powell Comments

(January 5, 2019 - Joanna Ossinger)

  • Fed chairman’s data dependency hints rates may be put on hold
  • Strategists target levels on the greenback last seen in May

The U.S. dollar may be poised to decline, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday boosted the chances that the central bank will pause interest-rate increases, strategists at Goldman wrote in a note Saturday. Powell cited the events of 2016, when rates were kept unchanged through most of the year due to concerns about slowing growth in China. The potential hold presents a chance for the greenback to drop.

“Combined with net softer U.S. data for December, we think a more data-dependent Fed creates space for further dollar downside,” the strategists led by Zach Pandl wrote. “We are therefore recommending short DXY (or a basket with approximately these weights), with an initial target of 93.0 and stop of 97.5.”

The DXY index hasn’t been below 93 -- Goldman’s target level -- since May, as the currency strengthened on the back of robust American economic data. The stop of 97.5 is the peak level it reached in November. The gauge ended Friday at 96.179, declining for a third consecutive week, as it failed to hold gains from the extremely strong monthly U.S. payrolls report.

 

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