Dollar index remains softer after FOMC minutes

Japanese yen
John Phillips | Digital Editor for CNBC.com
Japanese yen

The dollar held modestly lower against a basket of currencies on Wednesday as records on the Federal Reserve's March 19-20 meeting showed policy-makers debated about the central bank's bond holdings and agreed on leaving interest rates alone.

At 2:45 p.m., an index that tracks the greenback against the euro, yen, sterling and three other currencies was 0.07% lower at 96.94.

The euro fell on Wednesday as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi underscored the risks facing the euro zone economy, reinforcing bets on possible further stimulus to prevent the region from slipping into recession.

"The essence of Draghi's message is 'We are willing to look at all options, but we are not there yet'," said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of BK Asset Management in New York.

"Incoming data continue to be weak, especially for the manufacturing sector ... The slower growth momentum is expected to extend into the current year," Draghi said at a press conference after a meeting where policy-makers left their easy policy unchanged. He also cited the risks from trade disputes to regional business activity after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $11 billion worth of European Union goods.

The euro was 0.08% higher at $1.127 and was down 0.27% at 124.855 yen.

The greenback, which was mainly lifted by the pullback in the euro, was also bolstered by the latest reading of the U.S. consumer price index.

The U.S. government's broadest inflation gauge rose 0.4% in March, the biggest monthly increase since January 2018, while the CPI core rate, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, edged up 0.1%, falling short of the 0.2% gain forecast.

The somewhat mixed CPI report soothed worries about price growth fading, but did not dispel the view the Federal Reserve may lower key U.S. interest rates by early 2020, analysts said.