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U.S. Dollar Lower As Fed Minutes Show Patience On Further Hikes

The U.S. dollar declined against its most major counterparts in the Asian session on Thursday, as the Federal Reserve's minutes from the latest meeting showed that most policymakers suggested that they could be "patient" about further rate increases.

Although the Fed decided to raise rates by a quarter point at the meeting, some members favored to keep rates unchanged in the wake of growing volatility in financial markets, minutes from the December meeting showed.

The minutes indicated that the 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.

Going forward, Fed officials assessed that "a relatively limited amount of additional tightening likely would be appropriate."

The greenback dropped to 0.9716 against the franc, a level unseen since September 27. The greenback is seen finding support around the 0.95 region.

The greenback that closed Wednesday's trading at 108.16 against the yen weakened to a 6-day low of 107.82. On the downside, 106.00 is likely seen as the next support for the greenback.

Preliminary data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japan's leading economic index dropped to a two-year low in November.

The composite leading index fell to 99.3 in November from 99.6 in October. Economists had expected the index to remain unchanged.

The greenback fell to near a 3-month low of 1.1570 against the euro, compared to 1.1542 hit late New York Wednesday. The next possible support for the greenback is seen around the 1.17 level.

The greenback edged down to 0.7191 against the aussie, reversing from a high of 0.7146 hit at 8:30 pm ET. The greenback is likely to find support around the 0.73 region.

The greenback pared gains to 0.6789 against the kiwi, from a high of 0.6771 hit at 9:15 pm ET. If the greenback falls further, 0.685 is possibly seen as its next support level.

On the flip side, the greenback appreciated to 1.3243 against the loonie and held steady thereafter. At yesterday's close, the pair was worth 1.3209.

The greenback rose back to 1.2777 against the pound from yesterday's closing value of 1.2788. The greenback is poised to find resistance around the 1.26 region.

Looking ahead, the European Central Bank's minutes from December 12-13 meeting are due at 7:30 am ET.

In the New York session, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended January 5, Canada building permits and house price index for November are scheduled for release.

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