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US dollar declines as Fed meeting begins

New York, Sep 20 (IANS) The US dollar decreased against most other major currencies on Tuesday, as the Federal Reserve began its two-day monetary policy meeting.

In late New York trading, the euro rose to $1.1998 from $1.1950 in the previous session, and the British pound gained to $1.3523 from $1.3489 in the previous session, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Australian dollar climbed to $0.8012 from $0.7952.

The US dollar bought 111.46 Japanese yen, lower than 111.48 yen of the previous session. The US dollar increased to 0.9625 Swiss franc from 0.9614 Swiss franc, and it moved down to 1.2272 Canadian dollars from 1.2307 Canadian dollars.

It was widely expected that the US central bank won’t raise interest rates at the meeting but investors believe the Fed will announce the unwinding of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

Analysts said the market will also be looking for clues of whether the Fed will raise rates in December.

On the economic front, US privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,180,000, beating market consensus, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

This is 0.8 per cent below the revised July estimate of 1,190,000, but is 1.4 per cent above the August 2016 rate of 1,164,000.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, decreased 0.29 per cent at 91.776 in late trading.

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