The U.S. dollar dropped against other major currencies Wednesday after minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting signaled policy makers want to see more gains in the job market before they scale back the bond purchases.
The minutes released Wednesday showed "about half" of the participants in the June 18-19 Federal Open Market Committee meeting thought the quantitative easing stimulus program should be wound up by the end of this year.
However, the minutes noted "Many members indicated that further improvement in the outlook for the labor market would be required before it would be appropriate to slow the pace of asset purchases. "
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak late in the afternoon in Boston as traders are waiting to find out whether the U.S. central bank will soon taper its 85 billion U.S. dollars a month bond- buying program.
On the economic front, wholesale inventories decreased 0.5 percent in May from the prior month, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday, missing market estimates. However, wholesale sales rose 1.6 percent in May.
Moreover, U.S. mortgage applications fell 4.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey in the week to July 5.
In late New York trading, the euro gained to 1.2881 dollars from 1. 2787 dollars of the previous session and the British pound increased to 1.4923 dollars from 1.4869 dollars. The Australian dollar lost to 0.9115 dollars from 0.9191 dollars.
The dollar bought 100.18 Japanese yen, lower than 100.95 yen of the previous session. It edged down to 0.9655 Swiss francs from 0. 9724 Swiss francs and moved down to 1.0505 Canadian dollars from 1. 0528 Canadian dollars.