NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar was off its highs of the day and Treasury yields eased on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady and gave no signals it was in a rush to increase the pace of rate hikes.
In its statement, the Fed expressed confidence that a recent rise in inflation to near the U.S. central bank’s target would be sustained, leaving it on track to raise borrowing costs in June, while it also said inflation “on a 12-month basis is expected to run near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term.”
Ahead of the statement, some investors were nervous the Fed might sound more hawkish on policy tightening after recent concerns about rising inflation.
“It looks like it maybe calmed some nerves (of investors) who maybe were expecting a faster pace of hikes because of the rise in inflation,” said Collin Martin, fixed income strategist at Schwab Center for Financial Research in New York.
The dollar index rose 0.13 percent, with the euro down 0.14 percent to $1.1976.
The dollar index turned down after the Fed statement before trading higher, while the S&P 500 was briefly higher before turning lower again.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 133.6 points, or 0.55 percent, to 23,965.45, the S&P 500 lost 14.27 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,640.53 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.33 points, or 0.16 percent, to 7,119.38.
Forecast-beating results from the world’s biggest company, Apple Inc, lifted tech shares, limiting losses in the S&P 500. Apple shares were up 4.9 percent.
The MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.24 percent.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 3/32 in price to yield 2.9663 percent, down from 2.976 percent late on Tuesday.
In the oil market, U.S. crude rose 68 cents to settle at $67.93 a barrel, while Brent gained 23 cents to settle at $73.36.
Additional reporting by Richard Leong and Karen Brettell in New York, Sujata Rao, Helen Reid and Dhara Ranasinghe in London; editing by Nick Zieminski and Dan Grebler