US dollar lowers ahead of Fed meeting minutes
The U.S. dollar broadly weakened on Wednesday before the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting, which investors hope will offer fresh clues about the timing for an interest rate hike.
In Tokyo, the greenback traded at 124.32 yen, slipping from 124.38 yen in New York late Tuesday.
The euro edged up to US$1.1051 and 137.39 yen from US$1.1029 and 137.19 yen in U.S. trade.
The U.S. dollar was mostly weaker against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It slipped to 46.27 Philippine pesos from 46.36 pesos on Tuesday, to 1,183.54 South Korean won from 1,185.03 won, and to 65.24 Indian rupees from 65.31 rupees.
The U.S. unit also weakened to SG$1.4035 from SG$1.4079 and to 13,838 Indonesian rupiah from 13,839 rupiah.
The Australian dollar edged down to 73.33 U.S. cents from 73.63 cents, while the Chinese yuan fetched 19.41 yen against 19.42 yen.
Market were eyeing the Fed minutes, due later Wednesday, to see if they back up growing expectations of a rate hike as early as next month. The U.S. dollar will likely get a boost if the minutes suggest a rate rise is around the corner.
“The minutes are likely to suggest what traders have known from the actual meeting itself,” Vyanne Lai, an economist at National Australia Bank, told Bloomberg News.
“There aren’t too many impediments in the near term to prevent the lift-off of U.S. rates.”
The Thai baht was marginally stronger at 35.62 against the U.S. dollar, a day after slumping to a fresh six-year low of 35.64 in the wake of a deadly Bangkok bombing that killed 20 people and wounded more than 120.
The bombing at a shrine popular with foreign visitors threatened to damage Thailand’s crucial tourism industry.