Currencies take a breather as investors await Fed rate decision

SINGAPORE, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The dollar was broadly flat against major currencies on Wednesday ahead of an eagerly-awaited Federal Reserve policy decision that investors hope will signal the end of the U.S. central bank’s interest rate hiking cycle.

After a series of jumbo rate hikes in 2022 to tame inflation, the market is all but certain of a 25 basis points (bps) increase in interest rates later on Wednesday. The spotlight, however, will be on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference as traders attempt to gauge how long the Fed is likely to stay hawkish.

The dollar index , which measures the U.S. currency against six major peers, fell 0.029% at 102.06. It slipped 0.16% in the previous session, in part because of a report showing U.S. labour costs had increased in the fourth quarter at their slowest pace in a year.

The index has fallen for four straight months. As investors price in the Fed reaching the end of its rate-hike cycle, the index is far from…

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