The dollar edged up on Thursday as investors switched their focus from political concerns to speculation over shifts in monetary policy as the annual Jackson Hole gathering begins. As Kate King reports, investors are looking for any hint of monetary policy plans, including when stimulus packages are likely to be wound back.
For the best part of a year now global markets have had little concrete policy to cling on to. Analysts say Thursday's annual central bankers' meeting in Jackson Hole - isn't likely to make life much easier. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET ANALYST AT PEPPERSTONE, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "I think they'll be more guarded I think. I take that view. Janet Yellen might say something more about you know the tightening timetable for the Fed. But I think that they'll talk about a broad a broad brush road map rather than any specific policy decisions." The dollar is down 14 percent against the common currency this year It steadied on Thursday, following another politically-driven slide against the euro and yen. The US central bank remains the only big authority to have begun raising interest rates, while still pumping cash into the economy. Any firmer signal on that would be liable to help the greenback. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET ANALYST AT PEPPERSTONE, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "Obviously the dollar is relatively friendless over the course of 2017 to date. So that's why the markets are concerned. They hate instability and uncertainty and they would rather have clear cues kid directional cues to follow then I have to second guess politicians and central bankers." Central banks world-wide have pegged their monetary policy on unemployment and inflation growth. But recent data from Europe isn't painting a very clear picture, Unemployment IS trending down - but inflation is lagging. A headache for the ECB's Mario Draghi. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET ANALYST AT PEPPERSTONE, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "What Draghi really wants is concrete evidence over a three or four month period that the European economy is firing on all cylinders a whole, that's very difficult of course when you have you know two or three speed economy within Europe." Markets will have to wait until Friday for any information, fresh or not - with an arrivals dinner the only thing scheduled for Thursday.