Money in Motion

FOMC Meeting? Really? Yawn.

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Most FOMC meetings have a rapid and real effect on the dollar - but as this week's meeting looms, investors have other concerns.

When the term first surfaced, Operation Twist got a lot of attention. The idea that the Federal Reserve might try bringing down long-term interest rates by increasing the duration of its portfolio was analyzed up and down. But now that a two-day FOMC meeting is looming and many investors think Operation Twist is on the way, it's getting a bit of a yawn in the currency markets.

"We believe this should not have any material impact on the USD since it is largely priced into the market," says Paresh Upadhyaya, director of G10 FX strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Upadhyaya pointed out in a note to clients that since Operation Twist was mentioned as a policy option in August, the dollar index has risen 4.2 percent, and says he expects that if it is implemented it will be "broadly dollar neutral."

Greg Anderson, senior foreign exchange strategist at Citigroup , takes a similar view. "The USD impact should be small," he told me. There could be some short term effects, but "Financial markets are much more focused on sovereign dynamics in Europe and even growth worries in Asia than the specifics of operation twist. With offsetting fundamentals and markets focused elsewhere, I don't think Operation Twist will be much of a market mover."

Upadhyaya does think Operation Twist would lead to lower rates, which can't be bad for the economy. But for currency investors seeking a trading peg, you'd do better looking across the pond.

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