Forex – Dollar Falls to 3-Month Lows on Dovish Sounding Fed

Долларовые банкноты, 7 февраля 2018 года. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration – The U.S. dollar slid to its lowest level in three months against a currency basket on Thursday after the Federal Reserve indicated that it is prepared to cut interest rates to combat low inflation and slowing growth.

The U.S. central bank left borrowing costs unchanged on Wednesday, but suggested it could ease monetary policy as early as next month amid mounting concerns over the economic impact of global trade tensions and subdued inflation.

The Fed dropped its pledge to be patient, instead saying it will “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” and to “closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook.”

“All in all, this looks like the Fed’s final step before a rate cut in a journey that started in January,” said John Velis, FX and Macro Strategist at BNY Mellon.

“The Fed first paused its hiking cycle, then called a halt and became patient, and has now set up the case for a rate cut at the July 31 meeting. Market pricing is now nearly 100% convinced that cut will occur.”

The U.S. dollar index fell 0.4% to 96.19 by 03:58 AM ET (07:58 GMT), the weakest since March 26.

With U.S. yields falling after the Fed meeting, the dollar hit six-month lows against the yen. The greenback lost 0.4% to brush 107.766 yen, coming under further pressure after Bloomberg reported that U.S. President Donald Trump believes that he has the authority to replace Fed Chair Jerome Powell and demote him to be a board governor.

The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday, but echoed the Fed in warning that global risks were increasing amid trade tensions and uncertainty over U.S. economic policies, signaling that it, too, is leaning more toward ramping up monetary support.

The euro built on overnight gains and advanced 0.6% to 1.1289.

The common currency has rebounded from a two-week low of 1.1181 set earlier in the week after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted at a fresh round of stimulus to come.

The British pound was up 0.6% at 1.2718 after gaining roughly 0.7% overnight.

Sterling was buoyant ahead of the Bank of England’s policy meeting later on Thursday, where the central bank may strike a relatively more confident tone than its peers.

In contrast with the general caution displayed by other major global central banks, the BoE is expected to repeat its intention of raising borrowing costs – Brexit permitting