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Dollar Fairly Steady After Fed Minutes

The U.S. dollar retreated from higher levels this afternoon, a few minutes before the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's March meeting, but managed to hold steady against most of its rivals as the minutes showed the members had a mixed opinion about outlook for interest rates and growth.

The minutes said a majority of meeting participants expected that the evolution of the economic outlook and risks to the outlook would likely warrant leaving rates unchanged for the remainder of the year.

According to the minutes, most of the members felt the current target range for rates of 2.25 to 2.5% as close to their estimates of its longer-run neutral level.

However, the minutes noted participants continued to emphasize that future rate decisions would depend on their ongoing assessments of the economic outlook and potential risks.

"Several participants noted that their views of the appropriate target range for the federal funds rate could shift in either direction based on incoming data and other developments," the minutes said.

The dollar found some support at lower levels as the minutes showed some participants as indicating a possibility of a modest rate hike later this year in the event of the economy revolving as expected.

A number of participants judged that economic growth in the remaining quarters of 2019 and in the subsequent couple of years would likely be a little lower than they had previously forecast.

Data released by the Labor Department this morning showed a spike in energy prices contributed to a slightly bigger than expected increase in consumer prices in the month of March.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index climbed by 0.4% in March after edging up by 0.2% in February. Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.3%.

Excluding the jump in energy prices and a modest increase in food prices, core consumer prices inched up by 0.1% in February, matching the uptick seen in the previous month. Core prices had been expected to tick up by 0.2%.

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