Forex - USD/JPY rises ahead of Fed meeting

Shutterstock photo - - USD/JPY rose during Asian trading hours on Wednesday with expectations that the Federal Reserve will conclude its policy meeting later today with fresh cuts to its USD75 billion monthly bond-buying program.

Many markets in the Asia-Pacific region are gearing up for the Lunar New Year long weekend, with shortened trading sessions in some centers on Thursday. Markets in China will be closed from Friday to next Thursday while markets in Hong Kong are closed from Friday until next Monday, with Singapore and Malaysia closed only on Friday.

USD/JPY rose 0.39% at 103.33, while AUD/USD rose 0.15% at 0.8791.

On Tuesday the U.S. dollar moved higher against most major currencies after an upbeat consumer confidence report.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence improved to 80.7 this month from a downwardly revised 77.5 in December.

Analysts were expecting the index to rise to 78.1, and the numbers fueled expectations that the Fed will conclude a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday announcing fresh cuts to its USD75 billion bond-buying program, likely by USD10 billion.

Fed asset purchases aim to weaken the dollar by driving down long-term interest rates, thus sending investors to asset classes like stocks, while talk of their dismantling often strengthens the greenback.

Meanwhile a separate report showed that U.S. durable goods orders fell unexpectedly in December, which capped the greenback's gains.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that durable goods orders fell 4.3% in December, confounding expectations for a 1.8% gain.

Core durable goods, which are stripped of volatile transportation items, orders fell 1.6% in December, the largest drop since March, compared to forecasts for a 0.5% increase.

Orders for core capital goods, a key barometer of private-sector business investment, fell 1.3% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.5% gain and after rising 2.6% in November.

Still, investors bet that months of broad improvements to U.S. economic indicators will prompt the Fed to continue tapering its USD75 billion bond-buying program.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.12% at 80.67.

On Wednesday, the dollar will move on the Fed's announcement on interest rates and monetary policy as well as its language. 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.

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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