The dollar softened a bit versus the yen and was uncertain versus other majors after the Federal Reserve said it remained concerned about downside risks to an already weak outlook for economic activity.
The minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting in March showed that nearly all of the meeting participants felt that economic conditions had deteriorated relative to their expectations at the time of the January meeting.
Stock pulled back following the news, and currency traders switched to the yen as a risk aversion picked up over the course of the day. The yen was favored over the dollar as traders bet that a recent run to the upside for the dollar over its Japanese counterpart was overdone.
The dollar slipped back below the 100 mark against the yen, easing from a multi-month high set earlier in the week. After struggling to stay above the century mark through mid-day, the dollar dropped to 99.30.
Against the euro, the dollar gave back most of its early gains, easing from a weekly high of 1.3146 to trade at 1.3265 by 4 pm ET.
The dollar continued its run of choppy trading versus the sterling, unable to break out of a three-day range. The buck held 1.4700 over the course of the day.
In economic news from around the globe, official data showed that German exports dropped for the fifth straight month in February.
Wednesday, the Federal Statistical Office reported that calendar and seasonal adjusted exports decreased 0.7% month-on-month in February, subsequent to 7.4% decline in January. Meanwhile, economists had forecast a 3.3% decline.
Meanwhile, a report by the British Retail Consortium said UK's BRC Nielsen Shop Price annual inflation rate stood at 2% in March, up from 1.9% in February. This was the fourth consecutive month of rising shop price inflation.
Back in the US, wholesale inventories fell by much more than economists had been expecting in the month of February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, although the report also showed an increase in wholesale sales.
The report showed that wholesale inventories fell 1.5 percent in February following a revised decrease of 0.9 percent in January. Economists had expected inventories to fall by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.7 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month.
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