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SINGAPORE: The dollar was broadly steady on Monday as investors awaited further clues to help chart the US interest rate path in the wake of cautious comments from Federal Reserve officials, even as inflation shows signs of cooling.

The Japanese yen started the week on the back foot, weakening a bit to 155.80 per dollar as traders remain on tenterhooks for signs of government intervention.

The currency has moved in tight ranges in the past couple of trading days.

Data last week showed US consumer prices for April eased, leading to markets pricing in 50 basis points (bps), or at least two rate cuts this year, but various Fed officials have sounded words of caution about when rates may fall.

Traders, as a result, are betting on about 46 bps of easing this year, with only a rate cut in November fully priced in.

On Monday, the euro was up 0.07% at $1.087525 in early trading, stalking the nearly two-month high of $1.0895 it touched last week.

The dollar index, which measures the US currency against six rivals, was little changed at 104.46.

The focus will now be on the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index report - the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation - due on May 31.

Dollar set for weekly drop on US slowdown signs

“The Fed will not have enough data by the June or the July meeting to be confident enough to cut rates,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief economist at Annex Wealth Management.

“Come August, (Fed) Chair Powell could take the Jackson Hole conference as a time to explain their thinking around the path ahead, teeing up a September cut.

Let’s just hope the data cooperates.“

Markets will also focus on minutes of the Fed’s last meeting due on Wednesday.

Flash PMIs for euro zone, Germany, the UK and the US are also due this week, along with a roster full of Fed speakers.

“We do have Bostic, Barr, Waller and Jefferson all on the speaker calendar for today (Monday).

More ‘higher for longer’ commentary seems likely,“ ING economists said in a note.

In other currencies, sterling was last at $1.2705, just shy of the nearly two-month high it touched on Friday.

The Australian dollar was up 0.14% at $0.6703, while the New Zealand dollar was little changed at $0.61315.

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