The Federal Reserve left its interest rate policy unchanged on Wednesday but at last gave some indication on when it was likely to begin the process of balance sheet reduction.
With no press conference scheduled to follow the policy announcement, few had expected anything of material importance to be disclosed at this meeting of the Fed's open market committee (FOMC).
Indeed, the Fed had made its current position clear in a series of speeches by FOMC members since the last meeting – including in Congressional testimony by chair Janet Yellen earlier this month.
While the FOMC left the target range for the Fed funds rate between 1-1.25%, the central bank added that it would soon begin to remove stimulus.
"The Committee expects to begin implementing its balance sheet normalisation program relatively soon," the FOMC statement said, adding that such action was dependent on the economy evolving "broadly as anticipated".
Many market commentators suggested the language appeared to indicate a move would be announced, not at the next meeting in August but at September's FOMC gathering.
"The Fed provided a stronger hint that balance sheet normalisation will begin in the coming months, with September appearing the most likely start date," said Andrew Hunter at Capital Economics.
Although the Fed gave no indication how many more interest rate increases to expect this year, the statement was slightly dovish in tone in this regard.
It said the Committee would assess realised and expected economic conditions relative to its objectives of maximum employment and 2% inflation before making future adjustments to the Fed funds rate.
The Fed was positive on growth and employment, however, and said it expected inflation – currently at 1.4% as measured by personal consumption expenditure – to return to 2% in the medium term.
Markets appeared to be more influenced by the dovish elements of the statement, however, and the dollar fell immediately following the announcement.
The dollar index, a measure of the currency's relative strength against a basket of its main rivals, fell 0.3% to 93.73, a fresh year low.
Against the euro, the dollar fell 0.4% to $1.1694 and was down 0.5% versus the pound at $1.3091.
US stocks were higher, with the Dow index up 0.5% shortly after the Fed announcement.