The Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting will end later today, and traders worldwide are eagerly awaiting the central bank’s announcement, which is expected to include an interest rate hike and hints towards future hikes. The greenback struggled against its primary trading partners, searching for direction just after noon in Hong Kong on Wednesday. The dollar index hit near three-week highs overnight, and was trading at 90.42 .DXY as of 12:47 p.m. HK/SIN, up 0.54 percent. The euro slumped 0.78 percent overnight and continued its spiral during Wednesday’s Asian session, trading at $1.2263. Nevertheless, the dollar struggled against the yen, falling 0.07 percent to 106.46.
Reuters quoted Richard Grace, chief currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, who wrote in a note to clients that “We remind readers that every single FOMC rate hike this cycle has been a ‘dovish hike’ and the USD has declined on the day(s) post the rise.”
The Hong Kong dollar hit a 33-year low on Wednesday, trading at 7.8452 against the U.S. dollar, as the interest rate gaps between the country’s benchmarks continued to expand. The Australian dollar hit a three-month low of 0.7679 against the dollar on Tuesday after falling 2.4 percent last week, before recovering slightly on Wednesday to trade at 0.7697 on Wednesday.
Also impacting markets were concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist agenda which is threatening trade agreements with critical economies, including those of China and key European countries. In specific focus is NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Trump has repeatedly spoken against in the past. Recently, however, reports have surfaced that Trump may be softening his previously firm ‘No-NAFTA’ stance and considering ways in which he can keep his bordering countries satisfied while pursuing his own economic agenda.