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Dollar jumps after Fed minutes signal possible June hike

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The U.S. dollar hit its highest level against the euro in more than three weeks on Wednesday and crossed 110 yen for the first time in nearly three weeks after Federal Reserve meeting minutes signaled a June interest rate hike was on the table.

The Fed will likely raise interest rates in June if economic data point to stronger second-quarter growth as well as firming inflation and employment, according to minutes from the U.S. central bank's April policy meeting released on Wednesday.

That view, expressed by most Fed policymakers at the meeting, suggests the central bank is much closer to lifting rates again than Wall Street expects.

Fed funds futures, based on the CME Group's FedWatch tool used to gauge the probability of rate hikes, moved to price in a 34 percent chance of a June hike, up from 19 percent in morning trading. The probability for a September hike rose to 65 percent from 57 percent, while the probability of a December hike rose to 80 percent from 74 percent.

"Investors are now increasing the possibility of a June hike," said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets in St. Louis. "The Fed is saying that the markets are too pessimistic."

Gaffney said traders were giving the minutes more credibility as a signal for a June rate hike, given that they preceded strong April U.S. inflation and housing starts data as well as a push higher in oil prices.

The June 2016 Fed fund futures contract price dropped 2 basis points after the minutes were released, marking the largest one-day drop since late February.

The euro was last down 0.8 percent at $1.1223, its lowest level since April 25. The dollar was last up 0.92 percent against the Japanese yen at 110.131, its highest level since April 28.

The greenback was last up 0.62 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.9866 franc after hitting a nine-week high of 0.9868 franc.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, hit a more than three-week high of 95.139.