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Forex News: Dollar Mixed After Release Of Fed Minutes

Dollar Mixed After Release Of Fed Minutes

05/23/2018 - 14:51:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Wednesday afternoon. The buck is holding on to gains against its major European rivals, but is down against the Japanese Yen.

The Federal Reserve continues to project two more rate hikes are on the way this year with three more on the way for 2019, according to the minutes of their most recent meeting.

There was no interest rate hike at the May meeting, but policy makers debated the threat of inflation and acknowledged trade-related uncertainties.

The Fed has raised interest rates six times since the financial crisis, and another quarter-point rate hike in June is universally expected.

"Most participants judged that if incoming information broadly confirmed their economic outlook, it would likely soon be appropriate for the FOMC to take another step in removing policy accommodation," the minutes said.

A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed a pullback in new home sales in the U.S. in the month of April. The report said new home sales fell by 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 662,000 in April after jumping by 2 percent to a revised rate of 672,000 in March.

Economists had expected new home sales to drop to a rate of 679,000 from the 694,000 originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar climbed to a 6-month high of $1.1674 against the Euro Wednesday, but has since eased back to around $1.17.

Eurozone private sector grew at the weakest pace in one-and-a-half years in May with the rate of expansion slowing for the fourth consecutive month, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.

The composite output index dropped to an 18-month low of 54.1 in May from 55.1 in April. The score was forecast to remain unchanged at 55.1.

Germany's private sector activity expanded at the weakest pace in twenty months in May, preliminary survey results from IHS Markit showed Wednesday. The composite output index dropped to 53.1 in May from 54.6 in April.

France's private sector growth slowed to a 16-month low in May, flash survey data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday. The flash composite output index fell more-than-expected to 54.5 in May from 56.9 in April. The score was seen at 56.8.

France's unemployment rate increased in the first quarter, the statistical office Insee said Wednesday. The ILO jobless rate in metropolitan France and the overseas departments rose to 9.2 percent from revised 9 percent in the fourth quarter.

The buck rose to a 5-month high of $1.3304 against the pound sterling Wednesday, but has since retreated to around $1.3350.

UK inflation continued to slow to reach a 13-month low in April, driven by air fares, adding doubts about the timing of the next rate hike by the Bank of England. Consumer prices climbed 2.4 percent year-on-year in April, slightly slower than the 2.5 percent increase seen in March, the Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday.

This was the lowest since March 2017, when the rate was 2.3 percent. Inflation was expected to remain unchanged at 2.5 percent.

British house price inflation held steady in March after easing in the previous two months, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday. The house price index climbed 4.2 percent year-over-year in March, the same rate of rise as in February, which was revised down from a 4.4 percent increase reported earlier.

The greenback dropped to an early low of Y109.550 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday, but has since rebounded to around Y110.075.

The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in May, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Wednesday with a manufacturing PMI score of 52.5. That's down from 53.8 in April, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Japan's all industry activity remained flat in March, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed Wednesday. The all industry activity index was flat in March after rising 0.4 percent in February. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent increase for March.

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