8-20-14 2:48 PM EDT | Email Article

By Ben Eisen, MarketWatch , Kosaku Narioka

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. dollar extended its rally against key rivals on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve released meeting minutes that suggested the pace of labor-market gains is getting quicker.

Improvements in the labor market may pull forward the timing of hikes to key lending rates, the minutes of the last policy meeting indicated. Nonetheless, the minutes showed a growing divide among Fed officials in the assessment of the pace of those gains, and any improvement continues to depend new data.

On Friday, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will give a speech at the Jackson Hole economic symposium, which may add further color on the jobs market.

"This relatively marginal hawkish shift has reinvigorated the rally in the greenback, taking the EURUSD down to test key Fibonacci support in the 1.3250 area, while USDJPY bulls look to target previous resistance in the 104.00 zone," said Matt Weller, senior technical analyst at forex.com, in a note.

The dollar bought 103.69 Japanese yen (USDJPY), jumping over Yen103 for the first time since April. The currency pairing traded at Yen102.91 late Tuesday. The yen fell earlier after Japan logged a larger-than-expected trade deficit in July.

The euro (EURUSD) fell to $1.3264 on Wednesday from $1.3321 late Tuesday, its lowest since last September on a closing basis.

Also read: When PIIGS fly, everything you know about euro crisis is wrong, says Matthew Lynn

The U.S. dollar index (DXY) , which measures the greenback against key rivals, rose to 82.206 from 81.876 on Tuesday, marking a fresh 11-month high on a closing basis.

The British pound (GBPUSD) changed hands at $1.6603, down from $1.6621. Minutes released by the Bank of England showed dissent among policy members about when the central bank should begin raising rates. Also read: Inflation may still hold back BOE rate hike


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 20, 2014 14:48 ET (18:48 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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