By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar eased slightly from a near one-month high as global markets firmed somewhat on Tuesday a day after a risk-off mood dominated by solvency uncertainty of China’s Evergrande, while investors awaited the results of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting.
After reaching its highest level since Aug. 23 on Monday, the dollar straddled around the unchanged mark on the day, briefly moving higher as early gains on Wall Street’s benchmark equity indexes faded.
Investors are looking toward the Fed’s policy announcement on Wednesday for any signs of when the central bank will begin to scale back its massive bond-buying program, in a week filled with policy statements expected from a host of central banks around the globe.
“The market was trying to get a sense of was this turnaround Tuesday going to last, and if we had that continued improvement of risk appetite the dollar was going to pull back even more here,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.
“But there is just a lot of wait-and-see as far as what is going to happen with the Fed, what is going to happen with Evergrande. And right now if you are trying to make a dollar bet you really just want to wait until you get a better sense of what is going to happen with Evergrande and what the Chinese government is going to do.”
The dollar index fell 0.019% after reaching a high of 93.455 on Monday, while the euro was down 0.01% to $1.1724.
The greenback strengthened on Monday, along with other safe-havens such as the yen and Swiss franc, as concerns about the fallout from the possible default of China Evergrande unnerved financial markets.
Those concerns overshadowed efforts by Evergrande’s chairman to lift confidence in the embattled firm on Tuesday, as Beijing showed no signs it would intervene to stem any domino effects across the global economy.
The offshore Chinese yuan weakened versus the greenback to 6.4817 per dollar.
Before Evergrande’s debt crisis rattled markets, the dollar had been supported ahead of the Fed meeting this week, with economists surveyed in a Reuters poll expecting policymakers to signal expectations of a tapering plan to be pushed back to November.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.13% versus the greenback, to 109.23 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3658, up 0.01% on the day.
The Canadian dollar was poised to halt three straight days of declines against the greenback, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was re-elected to a third term but failed to win a majority in the parliamentary elections.
The Canadian dollar rose 0.06% versus the greenback at 1.28 per dollar.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin last fell 2.01% to $42,172.11.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Leslie Adler)