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The U.S. dollar traded slightly lower against the most major currencies ahead of the Fed’s interest decision today. Market participants expect the Fed will cut its monthly asset purchases by another $10 billion to $35 billion, but the Fed will keep its interest rate unchanged until 2015.
The U.S. current account deficit increased to $111.2 billion in the first quarter from -$87.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. That was the largest level in 18 months. The fourth quarter of 2013 figure was revised down from a deficit of $81.1 billion. Analysts had expected the trade deficit to widen to $96.9 billion.
Exports declined by 1.3% during the first quarter, while imports climbed by 1.5%.
The euro increased against the U.S. dollar in the absence of any major economic reports in the Eurozone.
The British pound traded lower against the U.S. dollar after the Bank of England’s June meeting minutes. The BoE’s monetary policy committee voted unanimously to leave interest rates unchanged at their record low of 0.5% and quantitative easing at £375bn.
The Bank of England policymakers were surprised that markets had not saw a higher chance of an interest rate hike in 2014. But there are still concerns over interest hike this year. The BoE said interest rise could reduce production capacity and it is difficult to revoke the decision.
The Swiss franc traded higher against the U.S. dollar. Credit Suisse ZEW indicator declined to 4.8 points in June from 7.4 in May, missing expectations for an increase to 10.0 points.
The Canadian dollar traded mixed against the U.S. dollar after the wholesale sales in Canada. The wholesale sales in Canada climbed 1.2% in April, exceeding expectations for a 0.3% gain, after a 0.4% decline in March.
The New Zealand dollar increased against the U.S dollar ahead of the Fed’s interest decision. New Zealand’s current account rose to a surplus of NZ$1.41 billion in the first quarter, from a deficit of NZ$1.51 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. The fourth quarter of 2013 figure was revised down from a deficit of NZ$1.43 billion. Analysts had expected an increase to a surplus of NZ$1.30 billion.
The Australian dollar traded little changed against the U.S. dollar ahead of the Fed’s interest decision. The Conference Board released its leading index for Australia. The index declined 0.1% in April, after a flat reading in March.
The Japanese yen traded higher against the U.S. dollar. The Bank of Japan released its monetary policy meeting minutes. The BoJ said the country's economy is expected to continue its moderate recovery and the current monetary easing appears to be having the intended results.
The BoJ reported that the political unrest in Thailand could impact Japan's exports.
Japan's merchandise trade deficit reached Y909 billion in May, after a deficit of Y811.7 billion in April. Analysts had expected the trade deficit to widen to Y1,189.3 billion.
Japan’s exports declined 2.7% year-on-year in May. That was the first decline in 15 months. Imports dropped at annual rate by 3.6%.
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