Updated on 29 Jul, 2019
Forex - U.S. Dollar Near Flat Ahead of Fed; Sino-U.S. Trade Talks in Focus

The U.S. dollar was near flat on Monday in Asia as traders remained cautious ahead of the highly anticipated U.S. Federal Reserve decision due later this week.

Policymakers are widely expected to deliver their first rate cut in more than a decade amid concerns over slowing growth and subdued inflation.

The central bank has faced repeated criticism from President Donald Trump over its rate increases and the ongoing reduction of its balance sheet. Trump believes the measures are holding back growth.

The U.S. Dollar that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was little changed at 97.722 by 11:35 AM ET (03:35 GMT).

The greenback was near two-month highs last week. Last Friday, data showed U.S. GDP grew at a 2.1% annualized rate in the second quarter, weaker than the 3.1% pace in the first quarter but stronger than the 1.8% forecast by economists.

Looking ahead, U.S. job report for July is due later this week. Analysts expect the economy to add 160,000 jobs, slowing from 224,000 in June. The unemployment rate is expected to tick down to 3.6%.

The GBP/USD pair was down 0.1% to 1.2370. The pound has now fallen more than 5% against the U.S. dollar since May, largely on fears of a no-deal Brexit.

The Bank of England is expected to keep rates on hold at its meeting on Thursday.

The USD/JPY pair slipped 0.1%. The Bank of Japan is expected to hold rates unchanged on Tuesday when it meets. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s briefing will follow the meeting on the same day.

Meanwhile, the USD/CNY pair gained 0.2% to 6.6911. Chinese and U.S. officials will meet on Tuesday for two days of trade talks, according to reports. It is suggested neither side is expecting much hope for a breakthrough. Vice Premier Liu He is expected to lead the talks for China.

The talks will come after a truce reached by President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit Japan in June.

“There is still a huge gap between the two sides on key sticking points,” said Robin Xing, chief China economist at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) in Hong Kong, in a Bloomberg report. “So far there is still no clear path toward a comprehensive deal.”