US dollar falls

New York: The US dollar inched down against most major currencies as the dovish Federal Reserve minutes continued to weigh on the prospect of an interest-rate hike by year-end.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, was down 0.52 percent at 94.820 in late trading, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Participants anticipated that the recent global developments would likely put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term,” said the minutes’ release of Thursday for the Fed’s September 16-17 policy meeting.

The Fed officials’ pessimistic tone towards near-term inflation added to the recent soft jobs data from the country, dampening market expectation for an interest-rate hike this year.

Analysts said a great number of investors are estimating that the rate-lift-off will not happen until early 2016.
On the economic front, import prices edged down 0.1 percent in September, less than market expectations of a 0.5 percent drop, said the US Labour Department on Friday.

However, export prices declined 0.7 percent, more than the 0.2 percent estimates by analysts.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to $1.1363 from $1.1272 in the previous session, and the British pound declined to $1.5334 from $1.5341 in the previous session.

The Australian dollar increased to $0.7329 from $0.7252.
The US dollar bought 120.28 Japanese yen, higher than 119.96 yen of the previous session.
The US dollar fell to 0.9608 Swiss franc from 0.9669 Swiss franc and went down to 1.2948 Canadian dollars from 1.3007 Canadian dollars.