The dollar began the month on a strong footing as a higher-for-longer U.S. rates scenario took center stage, while the Aussie slid after economic data pointed.

Australia’s economy grew at the weakest pace in a year last quarter while the country’s monthly consumer prices rose less than expected in January, separate data showed on Wednesday.

The Aussie slumped in the aftermath of the data to a two-month trough, and was last 0.47% lower at $0.6697.

“I think market participants will pay a close look to the January CPI indicator in order to gage the near-term outlook for (the Reserve Bank of Australia’s) policy,” said Carol Kong, a currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“But given what the RBA said at the last meeting, they seem to have already made up their minds and want to further raise interest rates.”

The euro slipped 0.08% to $1.0567, after failing to rise against the greenback in the previous session, even as inflation in two of the euro zone’s biggest economies rose unexpectedly in February and pushed up rate hike expectations by the European Central Bank.

China’s official February manufacturing PMI is due later on Wednesday, with factory activity in the world’s second-largest economy expected to have continued to grow last month.

“I would expect a solid report in the PMI readings today China, but I doubt a strong report would give a big boost to the yuan, just given the fact that markets seem to be focused on the near-term outlook for FOMC policy, which is still in favor of the U.S. dollar,” CBA’s Kong said.


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