Dollar slips after Yellen's comments flag economic growth concerns

Markets cool off ahead of key economic data on Friday

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 4 April 2023

Midday Market update
  • Gold rebounds above $1980

  • The Reserve Bank of Australia keeps interest rates unchanged

  • The contraction of the manufacturing sector is putting pressure on the US dollar

  • Yellen disapproves OPEC+ decision to cut production flagging global economic growth concerns

Gold stabilizes below $2000

The latest US ISM manufacturing PMI reading falls short on expectations of 47.5 to read at 46.3, indicating that economic indicators are in fact decreasing as we enter the anticipated economic slowdown.

Gold prices are found stabilizing below $2000, amid the decline of manufacturing activity in the US along with OPEC+ surprise oil cut. The precious metal witnessed high volatility since the start of the trading week whilst hovering now near $1980.

Another key mover for the yellow metal this week will be the US labor market data on Friday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia keeps interest rates unchanged

After a series of consecutive rate hikes since 2022, in the 3rd meeting of the year, the RBA announces keeping rates unchanged keeping the final rate at 3.60%.

Earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced a significant slowdown in inflation data, with the consumer price index on an annual basis dropping to 6.8% from 7.4% in the previous reading.

In the same context, employment data was additionally positive in the month of February, with the economy adding about 64.6 thousand new jobs. The AUD fell today after sharply rising yesterday by 1%. The Aussie now hovers near 0.675.

Dollar down amid OPEC+ decision and Yellen comments

In recent weeks, all eyes were swirling around the dollar as headline has it, that more countries are moving away from the US currency.

Notably, the USD continues to drop since the beginning of week over added pressure from central banks gear up to slow down hiking rates and potentially pausing it such as the RBA did.

Spooking markets as oil prices jumped over 5%, renewed inflation fears unsettled markets. Exerting more pressure on the already weakened US dollar. As a result, the US dollar index continues to downtrend.

US Treasury Secretary Yellen said overnight that "the sudden reduction in oil production by the OPEC+ alliance is not constructive and will add a sense of uncertainty to global growth expectations burdening consumers at a time when inflation is already high" ultimately pressuring the dollar further.