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Dollar firm near 3-month high after Fed minutes affirm taper timeline
The dollar hovered near a three-month high versus major peers on Thursday after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting confirmed the world’s biggest central bank is moving toward tapering its asset purchases as soon as this year.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rivals, was little changed at 92.687 from Wednesday, when it touched 92.844 for the first time since April 5.
Fed officials said substantial further progress on economic recovery “was generally seen as not having yet been met,” although participants expected progress to continue and agreed they must be ready to act if inflation or other risks materialize, according to the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)’s June policy meeting released Wednesday.
Various participants at the session still felt conditions for curbing the bond-buying that is supplying markets with cash would be “met somewhat earlier than they had anticipated,” while others saw a less clear signal from incoming data, the minutes showed.
Gold was down on Thursday morning in Asia as investors continued to digest the U.S. Federal Reserve’s minutes from its latest policy meeting. A strengthening dollar and lower U.S. Treasury yield also limited gains for the yellow metal.
Gold futures were down 0.30% to $1,796.65 by 12:35 AM ET (4:35 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, edged up to its highest level in three months on Thursday.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields dropped to their lowest since Feb. 19 after reporting gains during the previous session.
The minutes from the Fed’s June meeting indicated the central bank is taking steps towards tapering its asset purchases as soon as 2021. Although Fed officials felt substantial further progress on the U.S. economic recovery “was generally seen as not having yet been met,” they agreed preparation was needed should asset tapering be required sooner than expected.
S&P 500, Nasdaq Close at Records as Rates Slump Brings Joy to Tech
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs Wednesday, as falling yields lifted tech stocks while the Fed’s June meeting pointed to a lack of cohesion among members on when the central bank should begin tapering its bond purchases.
The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to a record of 4,358.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.30%, or 104 points, the Nasdaq was up 0.1% to a record 14,665.1.
Federal Reserve policymakers generally agreed that the threshold to begin scaling back its monthly bond purchases had not yet been met, according to the Fed’s June meeting minutes released Wednesday. But there was uncertainty on when conditions to taper will met as some members expected the threshold to be met earlier than expected, while others preferred to wait for incoming economic data.
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