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Dollar drops after Fed holds rates steady, risk assets gain

NEW YORK: The dollar weakened on Wednesday and risk assets benefited after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it held interest rates steady in June, but signaled a possible rate cut by the end of the year. 

Responding to an increase in economic uncertainty and a drop in inflation, the U.S. central bank said it "will act as appropriate to sustain" the American economy's expansion as it approaches the 10-year mark and dropped a promise to be "patient" in adjusting rates. Nearly half its policymakers now show a willingness to lower borrowing costs over the next six months. 

Seven of 17 policymakers said they expected it would be appropriate to cut rates by half a percentage point by the end of 2019, and an eighth member saw a rate cut of a quarter point as appropriate. 

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