* GRAPHIC: World FX rates in 2019
(Recasts; adds analyst quotes; updates prices)
By Kate Duguid
NEW YORK, May 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar held near a one-month
high on Wednesday after minutes from the May Federal Open Market
Committee meeting showed officials agreed that their current patient
approach to setting monetary policy could remain in place "for
Policymakers saw little need to change rates in either direction.
A rate hike in 2019 is unlikely, even as the U.S. economy continues to
grow and inflation remains muted, the minutes showed.
"People were looking for any type of pessimism that would
lead to (the Federal Reserve) cutting rates. But at this moment they
don't want to do that," said Juan Perez, senior foreign exchange
trader and strategist, Tempus, Inc.
The message communicated, Perez said, was that the FOMC
"cannot afford to either hike or lower rates."
The Federal Reserve's last meeting came before U.S. President
Donald Trump's administration increased tariffs on Chinese goods and
intensified global trade tensions further with restrictions on Chinese
telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
. The potential economic risks of a trade war were therefore not a
main topic of discussion.
"Clearly with the flare-up in trade tension between the U.S.
and China since the meeting, that brought up the downside risk for
growth. The minutes seem a bit stale at this point," said Matthew
Luzzetti, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank.
Against a basket of rivals, the dollar was steady at 98.071 and
just shy of a one-month high of 98.134.
While investors in risky assets heaved a sigh of relief after the
United States eased trade restrictions on Huawei, the lack of a
significant breakthrough has kept them on edge.
Stronger safe-haven assets, namely the Japanese yen and Swiss
franc up 0.17% and 0.20% respectively, indicated lingering
Sterling was the biggest loser towards the end of the North
American session down 0.35% to $1.266. It had earlier fallen to its
lowest since Jan. 4 after political uncertainty in Britain deepened as
Prime Minister Theresa May's final attempt to seal a Brexit deal
failed to win over opposition lawmakers and many in her own party.
May resisted growing calls to resign on Wednesday, vowing to press
on despite mounting opposition from lawmakers. In the latest blow to
the prime minister, prominent Brexit supporter Andrea Leadsom resigned
from May's cabinet, saying she could no longer support the
government's approach to negotiating an exit from the European Union.
Elsewhere, the euro was little changed, last 0.02% weaker at
(Reporting by Kate Duguid and Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by
Bernadette Baum and Diane Craft)
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