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EUR/USD moves lower, as Fed offers hints on delayed rate hike

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Shutterstock photo - -- The euro fell slightly against the dollar on Wednesday after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's March meeting signified that the U.S. central bank could be placing more emphasis on the strength of its volatile currency than the timing of a potential interest-rate hike.

EUR/USD fell to a session-low 1.0777 ahead of the release of the minutes in U.S. afternoon trading, before closing at 1.0798. On Monday, the currency pair moved above the 1.10 level for the first time since March 25.

The pair likely gained support at a low of 1.05 from March 11 and resistance at 1.11, the high from Mar. 4.

Members of the Federal Open Market Committee appeared to be divided on whether to raise interest rates at its June meeting, the minutes show. Following weaker than expected GDP growth and a disappointing U.S. March jobs report, lift-off in September now appears more likely.

Despite the poor economic indicators, "participants saw broad-based improvement in labor market conditions ... including strong gains in payroll employment ... While almost all participants noted potential risks to the economic outlook resulting from foreign economic and financial developments, most saw the risks to the outlook for economic growth and the labor market as nearly balanced," the minutes said.

The currency pair plunged more than 2% on Mar. 6 when a strong jobs report for the month of February increased speculation that rates could be increased sooner than previously expected. EUR/USD continued its freefall to 1.05 for the next few sessions until rebounding on Mar. 18 when relatively dovish comments from Fed chair Janet Yellen raised the possibility that the Fed could delay lift-off.

Over the last month, Yellen has indicated that the stronger dollar has weighed on U.S. exports.

Elsewhere, Russia president Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras did not ask for aid from Russia during his visit to Moscow this week. Putin's comments came amid speculation that Greece may have requested a stimulus package from Russia in exchange for helping convince the European Union to ease sanctions against Moscow.

Tsipras' visit took place ahead of a Thursday deadline for a EUR 468 million payment to the International Monetary Fund, stemming from its loan program started in 2010. On Sunday, IMF head Christine Lagarde said she was confident that Greece would make the payment in time.

Yields on U.S. 10-Year Treasuries ticked up 0.013 to 1.906, while yields on German 10-Year bunds fell by 0.02 to 0.16. 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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