minutes, released on Wednesday, showed members of the
rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee were generally upbeat
about the U.S. economic outlook.
But policymakers believing a slowdown in the future pace of
hiring would argue against a near-term hike outnumbered those
who anticipated economic conditions would soon warrant
The minutes disappointed those who had bet the Fed could be
turning more hawkish, after New York Fed chief William Dudley
said on Tuesday it could possibly raise rates as soon as
The dollar index <.DXY> fell as low as 94.324, its weakest since
June 24, in the European session, later edging back to 94.460
but still down 1.3 percent this week.
The euro was 0.25 percent higher at $1.1315 <EUR=>, having hit a
seven-week high of $1.1332.
"The minutes paint a balanced picture and support the market's
view, according to which the likelihood of a small rate step by
the end of the year is not even 50 percent," said Antje Praefcke,
currency strategist at Commerzbank. "The dollar will enter the
weekend on a weak footing."
The dollar <JPY=> eked out gains against the yen, with traders
cautious about pushing the Japanese currency much higher amid
expectations that the Bank of Japan could intervene. The dollar
was trading 0.15 percent higher at 100.37 yen, having hit a
seven-week low of 99.55 yen on Tuesday.
Japan's top currency diplomat - Vice Finance Minister Masatsugu
Asakawa - repeated a warning against pushing up the yen too
fast, saying on Thursday Japan would act appropriately in the
event of excessive market moves.
"We are sceptical that Japan is close to intervening directly to
weaken the yen, and even if intervention was undertaken it is
likely to offer only temporary relief," said Lee Hardman,
currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi.
"Overall, we remain comfortable with our outlook for further yen
Sterling rose nearly 1 percent to a two-week high of $1.3173
after UK retail sales for July beat forecasts, apparently
unaffected by Britain's vote to leave the European Union. [ECONGB]
(Editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)
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