US dollar down ahead of Fed­eral Re­serve pol­icy de­ci­sion

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

The U. S. dollar soft­ened in Asia Wed­nes­day on ex­pec­ta­tions that the U.S. Fed­eral Re­serve will de­lay an in­ter­est rate hike fol­low­ing fresh data point­ing to slow­ing growth in the world’s big­gest econ­omy, an­a­lysts said.

The green­back fell to 118.83 yen in af­ter­noon trade from 118.88 yen in New York, while it is sharply down from the 119.10 yen ear­lier Tues­day in Asia.

And while the euro edged down to US$ 1.0964 and US$ 130.29 from US$1.0981 and 130.55 yen in U.S. trade, it is well up from US$1.0880 and 129.54 yen ear­lier Tues­day.

The Fed’s pol­icy-set­ting com­mit­tee ends a two-day meet­ing later Wed­nes­day and traders are bet­ting on a rate hike be­ing put back, while also look­ing for some guid­ance about the bank’s in­ten­tions later in the year.

The cen­tral bank had pre­vi­ously sig­naled a pos­si­ble hike in June, but an­a­lysts now ex­pect it in Septem­ber at the ear­li­est fol­low­ing a spate of soft read­ings.

The lat­est came Tues­day as the Con­fer­ence Board re­ported its in­dex of con­sumer con­fi­dence tum­bled in March, in­stead of ris­ing as ex­pected. Con­sumers re­ported grow­ing pes­simism about cur­rent and short-term U.S. eco­nomic con­di­tions.

Also in fo­cus is the gov­ern­ment’s first es­ti­mate of U.S. firstquar­ter eco­nomic growth, with an­a­lysts pre­dict­ing a 1.0 per­cent rate, down from 2.2 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous three months.

The dollar was mostly lower against other Asia-Pa­cific cur­ren­cies.

It weak­ened to 63.20 In­dian ru­pees from 63.38 ru­pees on Tues­day, to 1,068.54 South Korean won from 1,070.86 won, and to SG$1.3216 from SG$1.3281.

The green­back also eased to 12,966.00 In­done­sian ru­piah from 12,991.40 ru­piah and to 44.25 Philip­pine pe­sos from 44.26 pe­sos, while gain­ing marginally to 32.68 Thai baht from 32.61 baht.

The Aus­tralian dollar rose to 79.94 U.S. cents from 78.68 cents and the Chi­nese yuan stood at 19.15 Ja­panese yen from 19.19 yen.

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