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    Asian shares, dollar steady ahead of Fed outcome

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    Asian shares were flat on Wednesday and the dollar held onto some slight gains as market momentum stalled ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting and release of U.S. GDP data.

    The dollar .DXY was steady against a basket of major currencies after a 0.2 percent rise on Tuesday. The dollar index is down 1.6 percent in July and set to post a second straight monthly loss for the first time since the turn of the year.

    The dollar index hit a five-week trough earlier this week as investors bet the Fed would reassure markets that interest rates would remain low for a long time even if it started scaling back stimulus this year.

    The Fed will release its post-meeting statement at 1800 GMT, but there will no news conference by Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    “Traders globally seem to be in a wait-and-see mode before the outcome of the Fed’s meeting on the timing of quantitative easing tapering,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management in Tokyo.

    The Fed is expected to link the start of any tapering to data signals, and markets have two major reports this week.

    GDP data on Wednesday is expected to show growth slowed to an annualized pace of 1.0 percent in the second quarter from 1.8 percent in the first, while payrolls data on Friday is forecast to show a fall in the jobless rate.

    The European Central Bank and the Bank of England meet on Thursday, and are set to hold policy steady.

    August 1, 2013 @ 11:37 am Trackback URL Posted in Industry News and tagged with , , , , , .