Investing.com - The dollar remained mostly lower against the
other major currencies in light trade on Wednesday, although the
prospect of monetary easing limited the single currency's gains,
while the pound turned lower after the Bank of England's quarterly
EUR/USD was trading at 1.3707, up 0.04%.
The euro came under pressure following reports the European
Central Bank is preparing to cut rates at its next meeting in
Reuters reported that the ECB is preparing a "package of
measures" including cuts to all interest rates, with negative rates
on bank deposits and measures to bolster lending to small and
medium size businesses.
The report came one day after the Wall Street Journal reported
the Germany's Bundesbank would back monetary easing measures by the
ECB if they were needed to keep low levels of inflation from
becoming entrenched in the region.
GBP/USD was down 0.32% to 1.6773, after the Bank of England left
its forecasts for growth and inflation largely unchanged and played
down speculation over the timing of a possible rate hike.
The BoE said in its quarterly inflation report that it now
expects economic growth of 2.9% in 2015, up from 2.7% in its
February report, and said the rate of growth this year would remain
unchanged at 3.4%.
The bank said it expects annual inflation to be close to its 2%
target over the next two to three years if interest rates in the
U.K. rise in line with expectations in financial markets.
In addition, official data showed that the U.K. unemployment
rate ticked down to a more than five-year low of 6.8% in the three
months to March from 6.9% in the three months to February, in line
The claimant count fell by 25,100 last month, the ONS said,
compared to expectations for a decline of 30,000 people. March's
figure was revised to a drop of 30,600 people from a previously
reported decline of 30,400.
The report said that average weekly earnings rose by 1.7% on a
year-over-year basis in the three months to March, but excluding
bonuses average earnings only rose by 1.3% during the quarter, and
just 1.0% in March.
Elsewhere, the dollar declined lower against the yen, with
USD/JPY sliding 0.45% to 101.81, while USD/CHF dipped 0.03% to
The Australian dollar remained near one-month highs, with
AUD/USD rising 0.29% to 0.9385, while NZD/USD was up 0.41% to
0.8663 and USD/CAD eased 0.02% to 1.0903.
The New Zealand dollar shrugged off data on Wednesday showing
that domestic retail sales rose 0.7% in the first three months of
the year, falling short of expectations of 0.9%.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the
greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down
0.05% at 80.15.
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