The U.S. dollar surged against major currencies Wednesday after the minutes of Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed officials discussed withdrawing monetary easing measures.
The Fed released the minutes of its latest policy meeting, which said "many participants noted that if convergence toward the committee's objectives occurred more quickly than expected, it might become appropriate to begin removing monetary policy accommodation sooner than they currently anticipated."
The minutes raised speculations that the Fed may increase interest rates sooner than previously expected and boosted the greenback. The spot rate of the dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies rose to 82.2, the highest level in 11 months.
In the previous session, the U.S. dollar rallied across the board as the Commerce Department reported U.S. housing starts rose sharply by 15.7 percent in July from the previous month, a sign that the U.S. economy has continued improving.
Global central bankers will start an annual summit Thursday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Investors will pay close attention to the speech delivered by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen during the meeting for clues of a rate hike.
In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3262 dollars from 1.3319 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound decreased to 1.6599 dollars from 1.6618 dollars. The Australian dollar slipped to 0.9289 dollar from 0.9309 dollar.
The dollar bought 103.71 Japanese yen, higher than 102.91 yen of the previous session. The greenback went up to 0.9132 Swiss franc from 0.9091 Swiss franc, and it moved up to 1.0968 Canadian dollars from 1.0944 Canadian dollars.