The dollar was slightly changed against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September meeting showed uncertainty on another rate hike in December.
Although it was widely expected that the US central bank will be raising its interest rates once more, the dollar has struggled to extend its gains. Analysts said that a possible rate hike would restrain inflation, which could likely hold the dollar back from maintaining an upward momentum.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback’s value against six major currencies, rebounded 0.09 percent to 92.87, after falling to a two-week low of percent $92.73, its lowest level since September.
The dollar was also down by 0.08 percent to 112.41 against the yen, but was still on top of Wednesday’s intraday low of 112.08.
Markets strategist Heng Koon How said that the greenback will probably find some support around the 111.80 level, near the 200-day moving average.
The dollar was steady at 1.2458 against its Canadian counterpart, while it recovered 0.1 percent to 0.9749 after earlier losses against the Swiss franc.
Adding more pressure to the greenback was the euro but it has declined 0.04 percent to 1.1853, after hitting its highest level since September of 1.1879 and was supposed to be on track for its fifth consecutive day of gains.
The euro found support against the dollar after Catalonia President Carles Puigdemont decided to postpone the declaration of independence to pursue negotiations with the Spanish government in hopes of resolving the political conflict between them and Spain.
Another factor was the expectation that the European Central Bank (ECB) will be winding down its bond-buying program worth €2.3 trillion.
The British pound was up by 0.02 percent to 1.3222. Other high earning currencies, such as the Aussie added 0.4 percent to 0.7820, while the kiwi rose 0.5 percent to 0.7117 against its American counterpart.
Uncertainty Still Lingers around Fed’s December Rate Hike
The dollar continued to be under pressure after some of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) officials showed doubt over the December rate hike as they were still concerned about the low inflation.
Several policymakers during the Fed minutes on Wednesday believed that increasing rates again this year seems to be reasonable, while some pointed out that further tightening will depend on the upcoming inflation data.
Although this did not greatly influenced expectations for another rate increase, it did however made Fed appear dovish, after it hinted a year-end monetary tightening in the September policy meeting.
OANDA’s head of trading in Asia-Pacific stated that the FOMC minutes only showed that Fed officials was still divided with regards to the slow pick up in prices, adding that the US central bank will keep on monitoring the data over the next few months.
Global strategic adviser Richard Clarida said that December’s meeting is still in play, with markets estimating that there is about a 75 percent chance that a rate increase will happen.
FX strategist Jane Foley stated that the dollar may be unable to get a lot of support from Fed policy this year, given the speculation that a December rate could stifle inflation potential and lower the overall course of Fed rates this cycle.
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