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Dollar Losing Ground After Fed Minutes Released

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The dollar is down against all of its major rivals Wednesday afternoon. On a light day for U.S. economic news, traders were focused on the Fed minutes.

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's latest meeting confirmed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's recent remarks suggesting the central bank will take a patient approach to further interest rate increases.

The minutes of the FOMC's December meeting showed participants saw the appropriate extent and timing of future rate hikes as less clear than earlier.

The Fed decided to raise rates by a quarter point at the meeting, but the minutes suggest volatility in financial markets and increased concerns about global economic growth have clouded the outlook for rates.

"Against this backdrop, many participants expressed the view that, especially in an environment of muted inflation pressures, the Committee could afford to be patient about further policy firming," the minutes said.

A number of participants noted it was important for the FOMC to assess the impact of increasingly pronounced risks and the effects of past rate hikes before making further changes to the stance of monetary policy.

The dollar has dropped to over a 2-month low of $1.1550 against the Euro Wednesday afternoon, from an early high of $1.1438.

Eurozone unemployment rate unexpectedly eased in November to its lowest level in more than a decade, figures from Eurostat showed on Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate eased to 7.9 percent from 8 percent in October. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged.

Germany's merchandise trade surplus grew in November to its biggest level in five months as imports fell unexpectedly, and exports decreased, giving further evidence of a slowdown in the biggest euro area economy.

The non-adjusted trade surplus grew to EUR 20.5 billion from EUR 18.9 billion in October, preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Wednesday. Economists had expected a surplus of EUR 18.6 billion.

Exports fell a seasonally and calendar adjusted 0.4 percent month-on-month following a 0.9 percent rise in October. Economists had forecast a 0.5 percent decline. The latest fall was the biggest in four months.

Imports decreased a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent from the previous month after a 0.8 percent increase in October. Economists had expected imports to remain unchanged.

France's consumer confidence fell sharply in December to its lowest level since late 2014, survey data from INSEE showed on Wednesday.

The consumer confidence dropped to 87 from 91 in November. The latest reading was the lowest since November 2014. Economists were looking for a score of 90.

The buck has fallen to over a 1-week low of $1.28 against the pound sterling this afternoon, from an early high of $1.2715.

UK permanent job appointment grew at the weakest pace since early 2017 amid a sharp decline in the supply of candidates, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The greenback reached an early high of Y109.003 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday, but has since retreated to around Y108.200.

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