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Forex - Dollar gains as market braces for Federal Reserve decision

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Shutterstock photo - " The dollar rose against most major currencies on Tuesday despite uninspiring economic indicators hitting the wire earlier, as investors viewed the safe-and-liquid greenback as the venue of choice to await the Federal Reserve's Wednesday announcement on interest rates and monetary policy.

In U.S. trading on Tuesday, EUR/USD was down 0.27% at 1.3748.

Uncertainty over the Fed's language and forward guidance on monetary policy kept investors camped out in safe-haven greenback positions on Tuesday despite lackluster economic data.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence dropped to 71.2 in October from an upwardly revised reading of 80.2 in September.

Analysts were expecting the index to fall to 75.0 this month.

The data came on the heels of Commerce Department data showing that U.S. retail sales fell 0.1% in September, while core retail sales, which exclude transportation items and gasoline, rose 0.4%, both in line with expectations.

Separately, the Labor Department reported that the country's producer price index contracted 0.1% in September, defying gains for a 0.2% gain.

The data cemented expectations that the Fed will maintain its USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program for the near future, possibly into first quarter of next year, to safeguard U.S. economic recovery.

Asset purchases aim to spur recovery by driving down long-term borrowing costs, weakening the dollar in the process, though investors chose to remain parked in the greenback on Tuesday before digesting the Federal Reserve's language on Wednesday.

Expectations for the Fed to keep policy unchanged have also been priced into trading, which gave the greenback room to post modest gains on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the pound found little support after the Bank of England said mortgage approvals rose to 66,735 in September from an upwardly revised 63,396 in August.

Analysts were forecasting a 66,000 reading.

The BoE said net mortgage lending ticked down to GBP1 billion pounds in September, from an upwardly revised GBP1.1 billion in August.

Meanwhile, net lending to individuals decreased to GBP1.4 billion in September from an upwardly revised GBP1.7 billion in August.

Analysts were forecasting increases of GBP1.2 billion and GBP2.5 billion, respectively.

The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.59% at 1.6047.

The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.48% at 98.15, and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.35% at 0.8988.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.17% at 1.0463, AUD/USD down 0.98% at 0.9479 and NZD/USD trading down 0.61% at 0.8251.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.38% at 79.69.

On Wednesday, markets will move on the Federal Reserve's announcement on monetary policy.

Also on Wednesday, the U.S. is to release the ADP report on nonfarm payrolls and official data on consumer price inflation. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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