Forex – Dollar Steady Ahead of Fed Rate Decision

Investing.com – The dollar was steady against a basket of the other major currencies on Wednesday ahead of a widely expected rate hike from the Federal Reserve later in the day.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 94.04 by 03:50 AM ET (08:50 AM GMT), after dipping to an overnight low of 93.88.

The dollar edged lower overnight after Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in a bitter U.S. Senate race in Alabama.

The election result narrowed the Republicans’ Senate majority further, which could make it more difficult for the Trump administration to push through its economic agenda.

Investors were looking ahead to the outcome of the Fed’s two-day policy meeting later Wednesday and with a rate hike already priced in investors were focusing more on policymakers views on the inflation outlook and indications on the pace rate hikes next year.

The central bank will announce its decision on rates at 19:00 GMT Wednesday followed by a statement. Chair Janet Yellen will hold a news conference at 19:30 GMT.

Concerns over tepid inflation have raised concerns over the outlook for further policy tightening in 2018, but data on Tuesday showed that U.S. producer prices jumped 3.1% from a year earlier in November as gasoline prices surged.

It was the largest increase since January 2012 and indicated that a period of softer inflation may have run its course.

The dollar was lower against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.18% 113.34, having risen to a one-month high of 113.74 on Tuesday.

The euro was little changed against the dollar, with EUR/USD at 1.1742, holding above the previous day’s three-week low of 1.1716.

Sterling pushed higher, with GBP/USD rising 0.23% to 1.3348.

The Bank of England and the European Central Bank are to meet later in the week and are expected to hold rates steady.