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Dollar moves lower as focus turns to Fed minutes

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar moved lower against the other main currencies on Monday as investors began to look ahead to Wednesday's Federal Reserve meeting minutes, while comments by European Central Bank officials dampened expectations for unconventional monetary easing measures.

EUR/USD touched session highs of 1.3746 and was last up 0.28% to 1.3740.

The dollar slid as market watchers began to turn their attention to Wednesday's minutes of the Fed's March meeting for further indication on the future direction of monetary policy.

The greenback softened against the other major currencies after official data on Friday showed that the U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, below expectations for jobs growth of 200,000.

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%, compared to expectations for a downtick to 6.6%.

The data disappointed some market expectations for a more robust reading but indicated that the Fed is likely to stick to its current timetable for unwinding its asset purchase program.

The euro received a boost after ECB policymaker Yves Mersch said Monday that while the central bank was working on plans for large-scale asset purchases to drive up inflation in the euro zone, this program is not required yet.

Separately, Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann said that monetary policy cannot solve the financial crisis, and urged euro zone political leaders to keep reforming their economies.

The comments came after ECB President Mario Draghi said last week that unconventional monetary policy instruments may be necessary to avert the risk of ongoing low inflation becoming entrenched in the euro zone.

USD/JPY touched session lows of 103.00, the weakest since March 31 and was last down 0.08% to 103.18.

Investors remained wary ahead of the outcome of the Bank of Japan's two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, checking the yen's gains against the dollar.

The dollar was lower against the pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD rising 0.25% to 1.6616 and USD/CHF down 0.39% to 0.8881.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was weaker, with AUD/USD falling 0.27% to 0.9244, retreating from the four-and-a-half month highs of 0.9306 reached on Friday. NZD/USD edged up 0.05% to 0.8603.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD dipped 0.08% to 1.0971.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.24% to 80.37. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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