* Dollar plumbs fresh three-week lows
* Fed minutes taken as dovish, markets no longer see early
2015 rate hike
* Aussie at 2014 highs vs USD, local jobs & China trade data
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, April 10 The dollar drifted at
three-week lows against a basket of major currencies early on
Thursday, having fallen for a fourth session after minutes from
the Federal Reserve's March meeting disappointed dollar bulls.
As a result, the dollar index has just about relinquished
all of its gains made since the head of the U.S. central bank on
March 19 suggested that interest rates may rise as soon as early
It last stood at 79.527, having dipped 0.3 percent on
Wednesday to be well off a seven-week high of 80.599 set last
Friday. So far this week, it has fallen over 1 percent.
Minutes of the March 19 meeting showed Fed officials had
worried the bank's forecasts on interest rates might appear to
investors as mapping out a more aggressive cycle of rate hikes.
Analysts at JPMorgan said the minutes were taken as dovish
by markets, adding they "contained no record of a discussion as
to how long it would take between the end of asset purchases and
the beginning of rate hikes."
On March 19, the Fed said it would wait a "considerable
time" after ending its asset-buying program before lifting
Asked what the Fed meant by "considerable time", Janet
Yellen said: "It probably means something on the order of around
six months". Her comments had sent the dollar surging that day
as investors quickly priced in the chance of a hike early in
Now, that rally has been almost completely unwound as
markets have pushed back the timing of the Fed hike out to later
The euro was back at $1.3855, having extended its
recovery from a low of $1.3672 plumbed on Friday. A break above
$1.3877 will take it to levels last seen on March 19.
Against the yen, the dollar fetched 102.09, holding
near a three-week trough of 101.55 set on Tuesday. The euro
climbed to 141.44 yen, continuing to regain ground
lost earlier in the week.
Commodity currencies also extended gains on the greenback
with the Australian dollar briefly popping above 94 U.S. cents
for the first time since November.
It has retreated to $0.9374 and faces tough chart
resistance around 94 cents, a level that had either hampered its
rise or provided solid support over the past few years.
The next test for the Aussie is local jobs data due at 0030
GMT. Analysts expect a bit of a payback in April after an
outsized jump in March, so any upside surprise could just be the
catalyst needed for the Aussie to tackle the resistance.
Chinese trade data around 0100 GMT will also be closely
watched with investors hoping to see some signs of a pickup in
the world's second biggest economy after a slow start to the
Any disappointment in the Chinese numbers will either hit
risk appetite or stoke speculation that Beijing will step up
efforts to support the economy.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)