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U.S. Dollar Gains After Fed Minutes, Housing Construction Data

 The U.S. dollar gained on Wednesday, as the latest minutes showed that most Federal Reserve officials still regarded high inflation as an ongoing threat, and they could require further interest rate increases.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.22 percent to 103.4350 in late trading.

The Fed on Wednesday released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held on July 25-26. Fed policymakers said that despite signs of progress on inflation, it remained well above their 2 percent target.

They said that they “would need to see more data … to be confident that inflation pressures were abating” and on track to return to their target.

Meanwhile, the monthly data published by the U.S. Census Bureau revealed on Wednesday that housing starts rose 3.9 percent in July on a monthly basis, following the 11.7 percent decline recorded in June, better than the market expectation.

Fitch Ratings also announced in its quarterly Global Economic Outlook on Wednesday that they have lowered medium-term gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections for a few developed economies, including the United States and Britain, but they have raised the eurozone growth expectation to 0.2 percent from -0.1 percent.

In late New York trading, the euro was down to 1.0879 U.S. dollars from 1.0904 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound was up to 1.2725 U.S. dollars from 1.2705 dollars.

The U.S. dollar bought 146.2300 Japanese yen, higher than 145.6500 Japanese yen of the previous session. The U.S. dollar increased to 0.8800 Swiss francs from 0.8788 Swiss francs, and it rose to 1.3535 Canadian dollars from 1.3492 Canadian dollars. The U.S. dollar was up to 10.9211 Swedish Krona from 10.8578 Swedish Krona.