The dollar is gaining ground against its major rivals Wednesday afternoon. Traders are reacting to the minutes from the most recent meeting of the Federal Reserve.
Amid recent concerns the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates more aggressively than currently anticipated, the minutes of the central bank’s September monetary policy meeting showed members continue to favor a “gradual approach” to hiking rates.
The assessment that the “gradual approach” remains appropriate comes as the meeting participants generally judged that the economy was evolving about as anticipated.
The Fed argued the “gradual approach” would balance the risk of raising rates too quickly, causing a slowdown in the economy, and raising rates too slowly, leading to inflation above the central bank’s 2 percent objective.
Looking ahead, the minutes said a few meeting participants expected rates would need to become modestly restrictive for a time.
After reporting a substantial increase in new residential construction in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing a bigger than expected pullback in U.S. housing starts in the month of September.
The Commerce Department said housing starts tumbled by 5.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.201 million in September after surging up by 7.1 percent to a revised rate of 1.268 million in August.
Economists had expected housing starts to pull back by about 3.5 percent to a rate of 1.237 million from the 1.282 million originally reported for the previous month.
The report also showed an unexpected decrease in building permits, which fell by 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.241 million in September after sliding by 4.1 percent to a revised 1.249 million in August.
Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, had been expected to jump by about 4.1 percent to a rate of 1.280 million from the 1.229 million originally reported for the previous month.
The dollar has risen to nearly a 1-week high of $1.1515 against the Euro Wednesday afternoon, from an early low of $1.1580.
Eurozone consumer price inflation accelerated in September to exceed the European Central Bank’s target of “below, but close to 2 percent”, in line with initial estimates, latest data from the Eurostat showed on Wednesday.
The consumer price index rose 2.1 percent year-on-year following a 2 percent increase in August. In July, inflation was 2.1 percent.
The buck has climbed to around $1.3125 against the pound sterling this afternoon, from a low of $1.3192 this morning.
UK inflation slowed more-than-expected in September on falling food prices, giving space for the Bank of England to wait-and-watch for the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
Consumer price inflation eased to 2.4 percent from 2.7 percent in August, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday.
The rate was also below the expected 2.6 percent. Despite a bigger-than-expected fall, inflation still remains above the central bank’s 2 percent target.
The greenback slid to a low of Y112.015 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday, but has since rebounded to around Y112.435.