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The dollar dropped against the euro for a seventh day after the Federal Reserve said a pickup in inflation is likely to be temporary as it decided to finish $600 billion of bond purchases on schedule in June.
The greenback earlier touched its lowest level since December 2009 on speculation the Fed will keep borrowing costs low.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is due today to give his first press conference after a policy meeting.
“The Fed is staying the course,” said Vassili Serebriakov, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo & Co.. “This should not stand in the way of further dollar weakness. It’s obviously no change to the Treasury buying program, as was expected.”
The central bank held its target rate for overnight lending between banks at zero to 0.25%, as forecast. The benchmark has stayed at that level since December 2008.
“The economic recovery is proceeding at a moderate pace and overall conditions in the labor market are improving gradually,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in its statement after a two-day meeting.
The Fed announced in November it would buy $600 billion in Treasuries in an effort to stabilize the U.S. economy under the second round of quantitative easing.
Consumer prices increased in March for a ninth consecutive month, led by gains in food and fuel costs, according to the Labor Department. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped last month to a two-year low of 8.8%.
The economy grew at a 2% annual pace in the first quarter after a 3.1% rate of expansion in the last three months of 2010, according to the median forecast of economists before tomorrow’s report from the Commerce Department.
The outlook on Japan’s AA- local-currency government debt rating, the fourth-highest grade, was lowered to “negative” from “stable,” S&P said today, citing costs for rebuilding after the nation’s record earthquake on March 11.
The yen has weakened 5.2% over the past month. The dollar has declined 4%.
The Australian dollar touched a record on speculation the Reserve Bank of Australia will raise borrowing costs to contain accelerating inflation.
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