* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019
(Adds analyst quotes; updates prices and news; changes dateline,
By Kate Duguid
NEW YORK, May 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar held near a one-month
high on Wednesday amid heightened trade tensions between the United
States and China and ahead of the release of Federal Reserve meeting
minutes which may provide more clues on why the central bank stood pat
on interest rates earlier this month.
At its May 1 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee kept
interest rates steady and signaled little appetite to adjust them any
time soon, taking note of strong jobs growth.
Still, the minutes may not add much to what the market has learned
from a slew of comments from Fed members this week.
In Hong Kong earlier Wednesday, James Bullard, president of the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said further weakness in inflation
could prompt the Fed to cut rates, even if economic growth maintains
Bullard's comments echoed those made by other Fed members this
week, including the Chicago Fed's Charles Evans, also a voting member
of the FOMC.
"We expect the FOMC minutes from the May meeting to be rather
uneventful for the foreign exchange market, given the deluge of Fed
speak investors have received in recent sessions," said Stephen
Gallo, European head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital
The minutes will not reflect a further ratcheting up of U.S.-China
trade tension since the meeting, which may also limit its impact on
Officials in the world's two largest economies dug in their heels
as tensions intensified since Washington last week blacklisted China's
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd .
China must prepare for difficult times as the international
situation is increasingly complex, President Xi Jinping said in
comments on Wednesday.
"Everyone is digging in for a long fight," Brown
Brothers Harriman strategists said in a note.
Against a basket of rivals, the dollar was steady at 98.043 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 0.12% and 0.23% respectively, indicated lingering
Sterling was the only notable loser going into the North American
session down 0.57% to its lowest since Jan.4, and last at $1.263.
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.
Elsewhere, the euro was steady at $1.116 before a speech by
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi in Frankfurt.
(Reporting by Kate Duguid and Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by
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