Dollar Strengthens Amidst Fed’s Hawkish Tone

March 31, 2024
Dollar Strengthens Amidst Fed’s Hawkish Tone March 31, 2024 Lennox Hamilton

The Dollar has shown resilience following remarks from a prominent member of the U.S. Federal Reserve, signaling a departure from market expectations of immediate interest rate cuts. Chris Turner, Head of FX Research at ING Bank, notes that Christopher Waller’s recent speech has contributed to a positive sentiment for the Dollar.

Fed’s Stance on Interest Rates

Waller, addressing the Economic Club of New York, expressed a cautious stance on interest rate cuts, citing recent disappointing inflation data. He emphasized the need to maintain the current interest rate level to support sustainable inflation growth towards the target of 2%. This stance contrasts with market anticipation of imminent rate cuts, leading to a modest decline in the Pound to Dollar exchange rate.

Market Response and Future Outlook

Analysts like Hann-Ju Ho from Lloyds Bank observe slight Dollar support in response to Waller’s comments, especially ahead of the release of the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, PCE inflation. Despite market adjustments in expectations for rate cuts, the Dollar remains the top-performing currency in 2024, buoyed by ongoing economic strength in the United States.

Fed’s Forward Guidance and Potential Rate Cuts

Waller anticipates a gradual decline in inflation, suggesting a possible reduction in the federal funds rate target range later in the year. While markets have scaled back expectations for a June rate hike, economists like Steve Englander from Standard Chartered believe that June remains a possibility, with a slim chance of a rate cut as early as May. Englander suggests that Fed Chair Jerome Powell may prioritize timely cuts, even in the face of dissent within the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Potential Impact on Dollar Strength

The Fed’s willingness to consider dissenting opinions indicates a potential shift towards rate cuts, despite dissent from hawkish members like Waller. However, the trajectory of the Dollar may hinge on upcoming inflation data, with continued downward pressure potentially leading to Dollar weakness.


The recent remarks from Fed officials, particularly Waller’s cautious stance on interest rates, have provided support for the Dollar amidst market expectations of imminent rate cuts. As economic indicators unfold, the trajectory of the Dollar will depend on the Fed’s response to inflation dynamics and the extent of consensus within the FOMC regarding future rate adjustments.

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