The Federal Reserve's asset purchases to support the economy's recovery has raised concerns among its policymakers, the minutes of their latest meeting released Wednesday showed.
Minutes of the January 29-30 Federal Open Market Committee monetary policy meeting revealed continued divisions over the central bank's assets purchases, or quantitative easing, aimed at lowering longer-term interest rates.
"Many participants... expressed some concerns about potential costs and risks arising from further asset purchases," the minutes said.
The divisions first surfaced in the minutes of the December meeting, when the FOMC agreed to launch an open-ended $45 billion a month program of buying longer-term Treasury securities and continued its $40 billion per month purchases of mortgage-backed securities.
A "number" of participants said that an ongoing evaluation of the efficacy, costs, and risks of asset purchases "might well lead the Committee to taper or end its purchases before it judged that a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market had occurred."
The prospect of Fed monetary tightening pushed the dollar sharply higher. About 10 minutes after the FOMC minutes were released the euro was down to $1.3286, compared with $1.3390 late Tuesday.
The minutes "sounded a surprisingly hawkish tone," said Omer Esiner of Commonwealth Foreign Exchange.