Dollar hangs onto small gains, with traders ready for Fed’s outlook on rates

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics

The U.S. dollar held to thin gains Wednesday, with traders ready to gauge how many more rate hikes are in the Federal Reserve’s pipeline if the central bank meets expectations by raising rates a quarter point later Wednesday.

What are currencies doing?

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.03%[1] which measures the buck against six rivals, inched up 0.1% to 93.895. The WSJ Dollar Index BUXX, +0.04%[2] a broader gauge of the greenback, was fractionally higher at 87.30.

The euro EURUSD, +0.1533%[3] rose to $1.1761 from $1.1745 late Tuesday in New York. The British pound GBPUSD, -0.3067%[4]  fell to $1.3343 from $1.3370 in the prior session, but it moved modestly higher after Wednesday’s release of U.K. consumer price inflation. Inflation rose to 2.4% on year, meeting expectations.

Japan’s yen USDJPY, +0.16%[5] fell against the dollar, with the buck buying ¥110.57, up from ¥110.38 late Tuesday.

The greenback advanced against Canada’s currency USDCAD, +0.0615%[6] rising to C$1.3026 from C$1.3015.

Don’t miss: Trade spat means more pain in story for Canadian dollar: analyst[7]

Also see: Why emerging-market investors are swooning over Colombia’s peso[8]

What’s driving the market?

The Federal Reserve is firmly in focus in what is a busy week for central banks. On Thursday, European Central Bank policy makers are expected to announce the timing of the unwinding the bank’s bond buying. The Bank of Japan is scheduled to release its monetary policy update on Friday.

A statement from Fed is due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, followed by a press conference with Chairman Jerome Powell at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

Investors have priced in expectations that the Fed will lift the target range for the federal-funds rate to a range between 1.75% to 2%, from 1.5% to 1.75%, marking the second rate hike this year and the seventh move since the start of the tightening cycle...

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