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Dollar Holding Steady Ahead Of Bernanke

The dollar is little changed versus its major rivals on Wednesday, as investors await the release of the FOMC forecast and the press conference from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The U.S. economy continues to expand at a moderate pace despite the "temporary" impact of higher energy prices, the Federal Reserve announced in making its latest decision on interest rates Wednesday. There were no major shifts in the Fed's accommodative monetary policy, despite a slightly more downbeat assessment of the economic recovery.

The decision to keep its benchmark rate at effectively zero was in line with economist expectations. The Fed did not budge from its conditional pledge to keep rates at historic lows until late 2014.

The dollar has held pretty much level against the Euro on Wednesday. The currency briefly dipped to a 3-week low of $1.3235 this morning, but has bounced back to around $1.3200.

The buck has also continued to hover around $1.6145 versus the pound sterling on Wednesday, just off the 6-month of $1.6170 it hit briefly this morning.

The U.K. economy unexpectedly shrank in the first quarter, entering a double-dip recession for the first time since 1970s, preliminary estimate published by the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday. Gross domestic product declined by 0.2 percent sequentially, driven by a sharp drop in construction activity. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent expansion in GDP. This follows a 0.3 percent GDP decline in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The greenback has risen back to around Y81.407 versus the Japanese Yen, near its intraday high from Tuesday.

New orders for U.S. durable goods fell at the fastest rate in several years in the month of March, according to figures released Wednesday by the Commerce Department. Durable goods orders came in at $202.6 billion, a 4.2 percent decrease from February levels. The drop reflected the largest monthly decline since January of 2009. Most economists had expected durable goods orders to fall from February levels but generally expected a much less severe drop of around 1.5 percent.

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