On Monday, the dollar tiptoed lower ending its a five-day increase as investors took profits prior to this week’s U.S. central bank meeting, and the Swedish crown fell on pension-related outflows.
The Fed is expected to increase interest rates at its two-day policy meeting ending Wednesday with the forecast an additional two to three hikes next year. Yet, slow-moving inflation and wage growth has obscured next year’s policy outlook.
“I think this (the dollar’s retreat on Monday) is being driven by the softer earnings data we saw in the payrolls report on Friday which reinforces the Fed’s current policy dilemma, where yes we have solid growth but so far a lack of inflation pressure,” said currency strategist Lee Hardman.
The dollar dipped 0.2 percent to 93.763 against a basket of major currencies, moving away from Friday’s two-week high.
The Swedish crown was the biggest loser, falling to a 13-month low of 10.0285 crowns per euro, down 0.7 percent on the day. The currency has lost over 5 percent in the last two months.
Investors have been scared away by the increased levels of household debt while Sweden’s high property market has begun to fall. Adding descending pressure on the currency were the annual pension fund-related outflows from Sweden totaling to nearly 26 billion Swedish crowns ($3.06 billion). The Swedish Pension Agency annually pays out pension capital to mutual funds chosen by Sweden’s pension savers with a big share of their savings moving to foreign assets. Most of the outflows are bundled into the last few weeks of the year, bringing down the currency.
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“Moreover, any sign of softening in house prices may prompt the central bank to delay their plans of rolling back their stimulus plans,” said Richard Falkehnall, a senior FX strategist.