Dollar retreats on some calm from Evergrande ahead of critical Fed decision

Markets are cautiously optimistic as Evergrande promised to pay some of its debt, alleviating dollar buying some pressure. The focus shifts to the US Fed, which is set to signal when it tapers its bond-buying scheme.

Evergrande crisis: China’s distressed real-estate behemoth pledged it would pay its yuan-dominated debt payments due Thursday, providing some relief for investors. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) injected more liquidity into markets.

Analysts are divided between those worrying that Evergrande’s issues are a “Lehman moment” and those thinking it is manageable. Early on Wednesday, the optimists seem to have the upper hand, despite the lack of enough details from the embattled real estate firm. It is unclear what happens to dollar-dominated payments and the risks of contagion to other firms.

Cautious risk on: S&P 500 futures are on the rise on Wednesday after the index ended Tuesday in the red. The safe-haven dollar is edging lower, albeit in a limited fashion.

The Federal Reserve is set to leave its policy unchanged but hint about the timing of tapering its $120 billion/month scheme. Markets will want to know the exact start date, the length of this reduction and also sniff out when the Fed intends to raise interest rates. Apart from the statement, the bank also publishes new forecasts.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell holds a press conference which could prove decisive for the market reaction. Recent softer inflation and a disappointing jobs report could keep Powell, a dove, from conveying a message of imminent tightening.

German elections: Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined Armin Laschet, her embattled successor at the CDU/CSU, in an effort to boost his campaign. Center-left candidate Olaf Scholz remains in the lead ahead of the September 26 vote. EUR/UD is holding above 1.17.

Trade: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is exploring joining the North-American USMCA free trade agreement as a substitute to a direct Anglo-American trade deal. GBP/USD is changing hands at around 1.3650.

The Bank of Japan left its interest rate unchanged at -0.10%, as expected. USD/JPY is more influenced by the Evergrande crisis than anything else, trading at around 109.50.

Cryptocurrencies have stabilized after suffering a rapid dip on Tuesday. Bitcoin is trading around $42,000, Ethereum is around $2,900 and Ada is clinging to $2.

Commodities: Gold is hovering around $1,775, consolidating its gains related to somewhat softer US bond yields. Oil WTI Crude Oil is hovering around $71.

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