Strong euro zone data and soft us influence firm EUR/USD; yen weakens

On Monday, the dollar index remained steady. This was because the decline we saw from Friday's disappointing US jobs and ISM services reports was balanced by a dip in the yen's value. The yen dipped after last week's sharp swing of USD/JPY from 160.245 to 151.86.

This change attracted interested buyers around the highest points reached in 2023 and 2022. Comments made on Monday by the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, John Williams, and the Richmond Fed President, Thomas Barkin, had no notable effect on the markets.

Key forex market trends and predictions

The EUR/USD increased by 0.1%, partly driven by the rapid growth of the composite business activity index in the eurozone. Despite the manufacturing sector's struggles, the service sector led the growth, contributing to less negative sentiment among investors.

On Friday, the EUR/USD high reached 1.08125 on EBS, hitting the downward trend line from the high points in March, just above the 200-day average. Close barriers include the 100-day average and shifting cloud at 1.0840, along with December's downward trend line looming at 1.0848 on Tuesday.

Like most dollar pairs, the future of Fed rate cuts will largely depend on US CPI data and retail sales reports, set to be released on May 15. If these numbers are low enough to suggest the peak of Treasury yields came last month, and the Fed might contemplate more than the projected two rate cuts for 2024, this could push the EUR/USD to rise toward a key resistance point of 1.1000.

The USD/JPY currency pair increased by 0.6%, recovering from its Friday low of 151.86. Despite this low, it reached an impressive 160.245 by the following Monday due to a breakout earlier in April. However, these gains were swept away, potentially due to intervention strategies.

Despite less-than-ideal US economic data and a decrease in Treasury yields on Friday, traders were still enticed to purchase significantly when prices dropped. However, any profit made so far is capped at a 154.01 high. This caution is likely due to the potential for intervention and predictions that the US data from May 15 may indicate a dovish trend.

Sterling increased slightly by 0.16%, but like the EUR/USD, it couldn't surpass its highest point from last Friday before reducing its gains. The Bank of England is expected to maintain its current rate at the upcoming Thursday's meeting. Market predictions don't foresee a reduction until August, with a total of 47 basis points being cut by the end of the year.

The Federal Reserve, on the other hand, is not projected to cut until September, with a total reduction of 44 basis points by year-end. The Australian dollar has also grown by 0.28% as we approach the Reserve Bank of Australia's Tuesday meeting. While the bank is anticipated to maintain current rates, there's a possibility of them leaning towards a hawkish bias.

Top 3 strongest currencies compared to the US dollar

Although the US dollar is generally viewed as the world's most influential currency and the most traded globally, it's not the strongest among 180 traditional 'fiat' currencies recognized as legal tender worldwide. The US may have the largest economy, but that doesn't always mean the highest currency value.

Let's break down which currencies give you the most foreign currency for your US dollar.

Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)

The Kuwaiti dinar is the world's most powerful currency. One Kuwaiti dinar can buy you $3.25 US dollars, which means that $1 US dollar is equivalent to 0.31 Kuwaiti dinars.

Kuwait, nestled between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, makes much money as one of the top oil exporters worldwide. The Kuwaiti dinar was first introduced in the 1960s. Initially, its value was tied to the British pound. Later, it was tied to a mix of currencies, the details of which are not disclosed.

Bahraini Dinar (BHD)

The Bahraini dinar is quite strong, with 1 dinar equaling 2.65 US dollars (or US$1 equal 0.38 Bahraini dinars). Bahrain is a small island country in the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia. It, like Kuwait, majorly profits from exporting oil and gas. The Bahraini dinar, introduced in 1965, is tied to the value of the US dollar.

Swiss Franc (CHF)

The Swiss franc is trading at 1.11 US dollars, meaning 1 Swiss franc can buy 1.11 US dollars (or conversely, US$1 equates to 0.90 Swiss francs). Known as the official currency for Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the Swiss franc is seen as a reliable option due to the steady political environment of these countries. The currency was introduced back in 1850. It was briefly tethered to the Euro and is now freely exchanged.