(Updates prices, adds comments; changes byline, dateline, pvs
* Dollar hits six-day low vs yen of 112.66 yen
* Eyes still on French politics as poll shows Le Pen gains
* Wednesday's Fed minutes continue to hurt dollar
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, Feb 23 The U.S. dollar fell against a
basket of major currencies on Thursday on a perceived lack of
progress on U.S. tax reform and public spending, while
Wednesday's more dovish-than-expected Federal Reserve meeting
minutes continued to weigh on the greenback.
The dollar fell as much as 0.5 percent against the yen to a
six-day low of 112.66 yen, while the euro rose as much as
0.3 percent against the dollar to $1.0587.
Concerns over the shape of politics on both sides of the
Atlantic helped the safe-haven yen, with anti-EU French
presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's campaign and U.S.
President Donald Trump's policy timeline stoking demand for the
New U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox Business
Network that any policy steps the Trump administration takes
would likely have a limited impact this year and told CNBC that
he wanted to see tax reform passed before Congress' August
That was in line with comments by other politicians over the
past month, but seemed to some investors to dial back Trump's
own recent promises.
"While it remains very difficult to pin down a fixed
schedule for Trump tax reforms, it now appears anything
phenomenal will now be delayed," said Adam Myers, a currency
strategist with Commonwealth Bank in London.
"Such policy drag should, at some stage, open up stock
markets to disappointment and limit dollar strength."
Concerns over the potential risk of a Le Pen victory in
France pushed the euro lower against currencies other than the
dollar, including the yen, said Richard Scalone, co-head of
foreign exchange at TJM Brokerage in Chicago.
The euro was higher against the dollar, despite a poll
showing Le Pen was only 10 points behind conservative Francois
Fillon but 22 points behind centrist Emmanuel Macron in the
potential second-round run-offs..
Wednesday's Fed minutes, which showed that there was less
urgency among voting members to raise interest rates, also kept
the dollar depressed against its major rivals.
"People were expecting slightly more hawkish minutes
yesterday," Scalone of TJM Brokerage said.
Fed funds futures on Thursday implied traders saw just a
22.1 percent probability that the Fed would hike rates in March,
up from Wednesday's 17.7 percent probability but still low, data
from CME Group's FedWatch showed.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.2
percent at 101.020.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; additional reporting by Patrick
Graham in London; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)