Investors appear to be positioning for a non event when, in three hours, the US Federal Reserve makes its first monetary policy announcement of 2018 - its last with Janet Yellen as chair and open market committee (FOMC) member.
The euro is up as much as 0.55% at $1.2471 against the dollar, while sterling gains 0.34% to $1.4194 and the Swiss franc adds 0.57% to SFr0.9304.
The Fed is widely expected to keep its main Fed funds rate at 1.5% and all other policy settings intact, too.
It's a tense time for the US central bank, already three new board members have taken their seats since Donald Trump became US President a year ago, and on Monday Jerome Powell (left) will take the helm as chairman for at least four years.
These are uncertain times: we suspect that Powell will take up the baton from Yellen and continue to do much the same. But markets spook easily.
"The S&P 500 index is down 2% from its astronomical highs, having closed Tuesday at 2,822.43. With this in mind, any sign of uncertainty from the Fed could cause a more sizeable plunge on the global markets,” says Miles Eakers, chief market analyst at Centtrip.
Any sign tonight of an uneasy handover, or any new doubts about the path of economic growth or inflation could set dominos tumbling, as equity markets are well overdue a correction.
Positioning ahead of the event
Conversely, we've seen hints in the input cost indexes of recent purchasing manager surveys that inflationary pressures are building in the US.
Although these rising input costs are taking time to feed through into the personal consumption expenditure data the Fed takes as its measure of household price inflation, today's bearish positions on the dollar ahead of an unknown event appear a little overdone.
Congratulations if they turn out to favour the brave, but the dollar bulls are waiting in the sidelines for any hint from the Fed, however small, that it will pursue monetary normalisation in 2018 with confidence.
Pic: Wikimedia Commons