Dollar Trickles Lower as Fed Minutes Signal No Hikes for 2019
The U.S dollar fell against its rivals after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting showed the majority of policymakers expect the central bank to remain on pause for the rest of the year.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.08% to 96.54.
In a further a sign that wobbles in the global economy has spooked Federal Reserve members, the minutes from the central bank's most recent meeting showed policymakers expressed a willingness to keep rates lower for longer.
"(A) majority of participants expected that the evolution of the economic outlook and risks to the outlook would likely warrant leaving the target range unchanged for the remainder of the year," the minutes showed.
On the economy, Fed staff forecast that U.S. real GDP growth would slow "markedly" in the first quarter, reflecting a "softening in growth of both consumer spending and business investment," the minutes showed. But while economic activity is expected to bounce back in the second quarter, participants "generally expected the growth rate of real GDP this year to step down from the pace seen over 2018."
The slump in the dollar helped the euro recover some of its early losses in the wake of the European Central Bank's unchanged decision on interest rates and downbeat economic remarks from ECB President Mario Draghi.
"Incoming data continue to be weak, especially for the manufacturing sector ... The slower growth momentum is expected to extend into the current year," Draghi said.
"We continue to expect the key interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the end of 2019, and in any case for as long as necessary to ensure the continued sustained convergence of inflation to our objective."
EUR/USD fell 0.14% to $1.1277
GBP/USD rose 0.40% to $1.3113 after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May signaled she would be willing to accept a potential EU offer for a longer Brexit delay. This comes as leaders from Europe are expected to reject the prime minister's request for a limited extension to June 30 in favor of an extension through 2019 or March 31, 2020.
USD/JPY fell 0.14% to Y110.97 and USD/CAD fell 0.03% to C$1.3321 as oil prices managed to hold gains, supporting the loonie, despite the Energy Information Administration reporting a larger-than-expected build in crude stockpiles