Dollar eases as investors await inflation data for Fed clues

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  • Dollar falls; Aussie and Kiwi gain
  • Traders price in 69% chance of 75 bps Fed hike in Sept

NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Reuters) - The dollar eased on Monday, giving back some of the gains it made following Friday's blockbuster U.S. jobs report, as investors looked ahead to Wednesday's inflation data for more clues about the Federal Reserve's next steps.

U.S. job growth rose much more than expected in July, data showed on Friday, lifting the employment level above its pre-pandemic mark and calming fears that the economy was in recession. Investors read the data as a indication the Fed could raise interest rates more aggressively to combat inflation. read more

The upbeat mood carried into Monday, with European stocks rising and North American stocks markets opening higher before pulling back to around even in choppy trading as investors' attention turned to company earnings. read more

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"We're seeing some broad dollar weakness because the risk vibe is fairly buoyant," Erik Bregar, director of FX & precious metals risk management at Silver Gold Bull, said of the safe haven currency.

The dollar index, which measures the safe haven currency against a basket of peers, was at 106.43 at 2:50 p.m. eastern time (1850 GMT), down 0.2%, compared with Friday's 10-day high of 106.930 .

U.S. Treasury yields eased after spiking of Friday, while traders were pricing in a 69% chance of the Fed raising rates by 75 basis points (bps) at its September meeting, according to Refinitiv data .

Markets are looking ahead to U.S. inflation data for July, which will be released on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect annual inflation to have eased to 8.7% in July from 9.1% previously.

"With the downturn in the dollar not coinciding with a dovish repricing in U.S. money markets, it seems the bar for a CPI induced dollar rally is being lowered today," said Simon Harvey, head of FX analysis at Monex Europe.

Fed Governor Michelle Bowman said on Saturday that the U.S. central bank should consider more 75 bps hikes at coming meetings to bring inflation back down. read more

"The U.S. dollar has been supported by the combination of stronger U.S. economic data releases and hawkish comments from regional Fed presidents that have encouraged market participants to push back expectations for a dovish policy pivot from Fed," MUFG currency analysts Derek Halpenny and Lee Hardman said in a note to clients.

High inflation combined with Friday's labor market reading could push the market to fully price in 75 basis points of Fed hikes for September, according to Tim Graf, head of EMEA macro strategy at State Street.

Currencies seen as barometers of risk, such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars, made gains, with the Aussie up 0.97% at $0.6978 and the Kiwi up 0.62% at 0.62825. , .

The dollar was down 0.12% versus the yen, with the pair changing hands at 134.835.

Euro zone bond yields fell back down after gaining following the jobs data on Friday. Italian bonds appeared to brush off a decision by Moody's to lower Italy's ratings outlook.

The euro edged down 0.07% to $1.01865.

The British pound ticked 0.02% higher to $1.2075.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss - who is expected to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister next month - has said she plans to hold a review of the Bank of England's mandate. read more

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Reporting by John McCrank; additional reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft in London; Editing by Alex Richardson, Barbara Lewis and Marguerita Choy

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