Sunday, June 11, 2006

Dollar May Gain on Inflation Reports, Forecast for Fed Rates

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar may gain against the euro on speculation U.S. government reports will signal inflation is accelerating and prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for a 17th consecutive time.

Sixty-two percent of the 53 traders, strategists and investors surveyed by Bloomberg on June 9 from Sydney to New York advised buying the dollar against the euro. Forty percent recommended purchasing the U.S. currency against the yen.

``The market's very nervous about inflation and the prospect of higher interest rates, and that's favoring the dollar,'' said Ian Gunner, head of foreign exchange in London at Mellon Financial Corp., which holds $4.13 trillion in assets. ``We're likely to see more strength for the currency.''

Producer prices probably rose 4.3 percent in May compared with a year earlier, the biggest increase since January, according to the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Consumer prices likely increased 3.9 percent in May from a year earlier, after a 3.5 percent gain in April. The reports are scheduled for release June 13 and 14.

The U.S. currency rose the past five days, its longest rally since January, as traders boosted bets the Fed will lift its target rate by a quarter-percentage point on June 29 to 5.25 percent. Odds of an increase surged to 84 percent last week from below 50 percent a week earlier, trading in interest-rate futures show, after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and central bankers emphasized their concerns about inflation.

Read more here.

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