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The dollar jumped dramatically versus its Japanese counterpart on Thursday after the conclusion of policy meetings held by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan which delivered diverging monetary policies.
The greenback shone and soared to the highest level in two months versus the Yen in Asian trading session on Thursday, sending the pair USDJPY 0.17 percent higher to trade at as high as 112.40 yen per dollar. According to the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement released after a two-day meeting starting on Tuesday in Washington, the Fed decided to keep its interest rates unchanged in a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent as widely expected.
However, the central bank announced that it would start shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet next month and trimming its massive holding of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities that it acquired in the years after the 2008 financial crisis.
The Fed continued to reiterate that interest rates are likely to rise at a “gradual” pace given steady growth and low unemployment which is expected to boost inflation closer to their 2% goal. The central bank signaled that it expects one more interest rate hike by the end of the year with the consideration that hurricane damage are unlikely to affect the economy in the medium term. In its new set of projections, the Fed estimates that three quarter-point rate hikes would be appropriate next year.
Following the Fed’s statement, Fed fund rate futures rose to a 65 percent chance of a rate hike by December from around 50 percent before the latest meeting. The dollar; therefore, was supported strongly amidst expectations over the central bank raising rates in the near futures.
Meanwhile, although the Bank of Japan kept its monetary stimulus unchanged on Thursday as expected by economists, the Yen turned lower against its major rivals after a dovish new board member said the effects of the current yield curve program of the Japanese central bank weren’t strong enough which would not be able to bolster inflation higher towards BOJ’s target by the projected time frame of around fiscal 2019.
Markets are awaiting a news conference by its governor which is scheduled to be held later in the day.
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