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Dollar in Holding Pattern as Fed Meeting Gets Underway

9/20/2017, 11:16:24 AMBasics of Trading
Dollar in Holding Pattern as Fed Meeting Gets Underway

 The dollar was roughly unchanged against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday as a mixed report on U.S. housing activity weighed on sentiment but easing geopolitical uncertainty limited losses in the greenback.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.01% to 91.80.

The dollar came under pressure after a pair of mixed reports on the U.S. housing sector tapered investor expectations of solid third quarter-growth.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday U.S. homebuilding fell 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million units in August, well below economists’ estimates of a 1.7% rise.

The report also highlighted a sharp 5.7% rise in building permits to a rate of 1.3 million units. That was the highest level since January, beating forecasts of a 0.8% decline.

The duo of reports come as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) two-day meeting got underway on Tuesday amid expectations the policymaking FOMC will announce plans to begin unwinding its $4.5tn bond portfolio at the conclusion of its meeting on Wednesday.

As well as plans for balance sheet unwinding, the Fed’s Summary of Economic Projections and dot-plot are expected garner much of the attention, as investors are keen to assess whether the slowing pace of inflation has altered the central bank’s longer-term view on interest rates.

Downside momentum in the dollar was limited, however, as it made strong gains against its safe-haven counterparts like the yen and Swiss franc amid fading geopolitical uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula.

USD/JPY rose 0.22% to Y111.80 while USD/CHF added 0.30% to 0.9646.

EUR/USD tacked on 0.09% to $1.1966 while EUR/GBP gained 0.25% to £0.8879, despite data showing Eurozone institutional investors were less optimistic about the six-month economic outlook for the 28-member bloc.

GBP/USD fell to $1.3478, down 0.13% while USD/CAD lost 0.15% to C$1.2279.