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Forex News: Dollar Little Changed After Fed Minutes Released

Dollar Little Changed After Fed Minutes Released

04/05/2017 - 14:36:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Wednesday afternoon and so far, the release of the Fed minutes has had little impact on the currency. The buck is up slightly against the Euro and the Japanese Yen, but is down in comparison to the British pound.

The Federal Reserve is ready to start to shrink their bloated $4.5 trillion balance sheet this year, the minutes of the March monetary policy meeting revealed Wednesday.

At the March 14-15 meeting, FOMC members voted at the meeting to raise interest rates a quarter-point while projecting two further rate hikes this year.

There was detailed discussion of ending the reinvestment policy, with policy makers unsure whether to phase out reinvestment of principal payments or cutting them off at once by year's end.

This is seen as a nod to the improving economy and prospect of strong medium-term economic growth.

Provided that the economy continued to perform about as expected, "most participants anticipated that gradual increases in the federal funds rate would continue and judged that a change to the Committee's reinvestment policy would likely be appropriate later this year," the minutes said.

Employment in the U.S. private sector increased by much more than anticipated in the month of March, according to a report released by payroll processor ADP on Wednesday. ADP said private sector employment soared by 263,000 jobs in March compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 187,000 jobs.

After reporting U.S. service sector growth at its fastest rate in well over a year in the previous month, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Wednesday showing that the pace of growth in the sector slowed by more than expected in the month of March.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index dropped to 55.2 in March from 57.6 in February, although a reading above 50 indicates continued growth in the service sector. Economists had expected the index to edged down to 57.0.

The dollar climbed to around $1.0629 against the Euro Wednesday, but has since eased back to around $1.0660.

Eurozone private sector expanded at the fastest pace in almost six years in March but the pace of growth was slightly weaker than the initial estimate, final data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday. The composite output index rose to a 71-month high of 56.4 in March from 56.0 in February but below the flash estimate of 56.7. The index has signaled expansion in each of the past 45 months in March.

The buck has slipped to around $1.2485 against the pound sterling Wednesday afternoon, from an early high of $1.2416.

UK's services activity grew at the fastest pace in three months in March, driven by a solid rise in new orders, survey data from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply showed Wednesday.

The CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index for the services sector rose to 55.0 in March from February's 5-month low of 53.3. The score was forecast to rise slightly to 53.4.

UK labor productivity grew the most in six quarters at the end of 2016, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday. Output per hour increased 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter from prior three months, when it grew 0.2 percent. This was the fastest expansion since the second quarter of 2015.

Shop prices in the United Kingdom were down 0.8 percent on year in March, the British Retail Consortium said on Wednesday. That was in line with expectations following the 1.0 percent decline in February.

The greenback climbed to a high of Y111.453 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday, but has since retreated to around Y111.170.

The services sector in Japan continued to expand in March, and at an accelerated pace, the latest survey from Nikkei showed on Wednesday with a 19-month high PMI score of 52.9. That's up from 51.3 in February, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

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