U.S. Dollar Falls to Lowest Level in a Month

By Ira Iosebashvili and Daniel Kruger Features Dow Jones Newswires

The dollar fell to its lowest level in a month Wednesday, after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting revealed that some officials believe weak inflation may persist longer then expected.

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The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was recently down 0.8% at 86.60, its lowest level since October 19.

Some Fed officials think inflation could stay below their 2% annual target for longer than many expected, raising questions about the pace of rate increases next year, minutes from the central bank's October meeting showed. Expectations that borrowing costs will rise slowly tend to hurt the dollar, as higher rates make the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors.

While most investors believe the Federal Reserve will raise rates in December, many are still trying to gauge how aggressively the central bank will tighten monetary policy next year.

Earlier in the session, the dollar fell after Commerce Department data showed that durable goods orders slipped by 1.2% in October from the previous month. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.2% increase for orders last month.

The dollar is down nearly 7% this year. Signs that Republican lawmakers are on the way to successfully pushing through their tax overhaul could boost the currency, some market participants believe.

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"The Republicans are closer to passing a tax deal than most commentary suggests," said Steven Englander, head of research and strategy at Rafiki Capital, in a note to clients. "This raises the odds of a year-end (dollar) rally, but I would be cautious about a...carryover into 2018."

Write to Ira Iosebashvili at ira.iosebashvili@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 22, 2017 18:02 ET (23:02 GMT)