Fed’s Bullard says boost to dollar from interest rate hikes may ease

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The Federal Reserve’s rapid interest rate increases have contributed to the strength of the dollar against other currencies, but that may ease once the US central bank reaches the point of pausing the hikes, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Saturday.

Fed policy “has produced a stronger currency,” Bullard said at a monetary policy panel on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Washington. That may ease once the Fed gets rates to a place “where the committee thinks we’re putting meaningful downward pressure on inflation,” so rates don’t need to continue rising, he said.

At that point, as other central banks adjust their policy, “you might see other movements in the dollar.”

The impact of Fed policies on global financial markets has been a major theme of the IMF and World Bank meetings this week.

Bullard said that while the Fed’s rapid rate moves this year, with its target policy rate rising from the near-zero level in March to the current 3.00%-3.25% range and heading higher, has touched off a global repricing of currencies, stocks, bonds and other assets.