FOREX-Dollar weakens against euro, yen as Fed remains dovish
* Dollar weakens against euro, yen after Fed minutes
* Fed June meeting minutes fails to surprise (Recasts with Fed minutes, adds comments, updates prices)
NEW YORK, July 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar weakened against the euro and the yen on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve's June meeting minutes kept a dovish tone in a statement that was devoid of any large surprises.
The Fed has begun detailing how it plans to ease the U.S. economy out of an era of loose monetary policy, indicating it will end its asset purchases in October and appearing near agreement on a plan to manage interest rates, according to the minutes.
"A lot of what was said in the FOMC minutes we already knew, and we knew quite well," said John Kicklighter, senior currency strategist at DailyFX in New York.
The dollar fell to $1.3643 against the euro, from $1.3624 before the minutes were released. The greenback dropped to 101.57 yen against the Japanese currency, from 101.75 before the minutes.
The dollar has struggled to break above relatively tight ranges against the euro and the yen as Treasuries yields stay relatively low, with investors looking for stronger signals that the economy is gaining enough momentum for the Fed to begin raising interest rates.
"The minutes reflect a central bank gaining more confidence in the recovery, and one that is increasingly preoccupied on matters relating to the exit strategy," Eric Green, head of U.S. rates and economic research at TD Securities, said in a note. "These minutes are incrementally less dovish than prior iterations, but dovish nonetheless."
The Fed meeting took place before last Thursday's better-than-expected jobs report for June.
The Fed's meeting minutes were the main focus in a quiet week, with no major economic releases due.
Kansas Fed President Esther George and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer are both due to speak on Thursday.
The dollar has been largely stuck in a range as the Fed is seen as offering few surprises in the near-term while other central banks including the European Central Bank are also seen on a set course in the near-term.
The Fed is seen as unlikely to signal a stronger chance of a rate hike until it has several more months of data. The ECB is unlikely to change policy before its targeted longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs), meant to help stimulate growth in the region, are entered into later this year.
"Policy has been somewhat steady on both sides," said Eric Viloria, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.
ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated on Wednesday that the ECB is ready to use "unconventional instruments" - code for large-scale asset buying - if needed, in a speech in London that was mainly devoted to pressing for closer European integration to deliver growth and jobs. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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