The dollar held close to an eight-month low against its peers on Thursday, as a gloomy U.S. corporate earnings season stoked recession fears and as traders stayed on guard ahead of a slew of central bank meetings next week.
The U.S. dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, inched 0.1% higher to 101.65, after falling as low as 101.52 earlier in the session, testing last week’s eight-month trough of 101.51.
Trading was thin, with Australia out for a holiday and some parts of Asia still away for the Lunar New Year.
Downbeat earnings and guidance from U.S. companies and a string of tech sector layoffs have deepened fears of a sharp economic downturn in the United States, leading investors to pare back expectations on how much longer the Federal Reserve will need to aggressively raise interest rates.
“There are now signs the U.S. economy may be slowing in a more meaningful manner,” said economists at Wells Fargo.
“With the Fed no longer leading the charge on interest rate hikes and U.S. economic trends set to worsen, we now believe the U.S. dollar has entered a period of cyclical depreciation against most foreign currencies.”
The Fed’s policy-setting committee will begin a two-day meeting next week, and markets have priced in a 25-basis-point (bps) interest rate hike, a step down from the central bank’s 50 bps and 75 bps increases seen last year.