- FOMC does as widely expected, leaving rates on hold at 1.25-1.50%.
- Policy meeting didn’t have much impact on FX markets as this was the last meeting with Janet Yellen at the helm of the FOMC.
- The US Dollar gyrated around the policy statement release but soon continued to inch higher in what has been a session of recovery since the US cash equity open.
The Federal Reserve kicked off 2018 with one of the more uneventful policy meetings in recent memory, though this wasn’t necessarily a surprise to market participants. Rates markets were correct in presuming that there wouldn’t be a policy change today, as the main rate stayed on hold at 1.25-1.50%. With neither a new Summary of Economic Projections nor a press conference, traders weren’t looking for much today.
After all, knowing that this was Chair Janet Yellen’s last meeting at the helm of the FOMC, and that a new composition of policymakers will call themselves voters starting next week, traders expected little and received little in return. A small upgrade in the language around inflation is about all that stands out in the January policy statement, but that view may change once the new Fed Chair and new voters gather.
Accordingly, the resulting impact on the US Dollar has been minimal at best. Immediately following the policy statement release, the Dollar Index (DXY) dropped from from 89.10 to 89.00, then rebounded back as high as 89.29. At the time this report was written, the DXY Index was back at 89.22.
Price Chart 1: DXY Index 1-minute Chart (January 31, 2018 Intraday)
If nothing changed with the FOMC today, then there is little reason to think of today as a turning point in the US Dollar's broad downtrend. The DXY Index remains below its daily 8-, 13-, and 21-EMAs, while MACD and Slow Stochastics continue to trend lower in bearish territory. Bearish momentum is firm indeed, and until price closes back above the daily 8-EMA (no close above since January 11) then the bearish bias remains in place.
--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Currency Strategist
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