(Updates prices, adds comments; changes byline, dateline, pvs
* Dollar set for first week of falls in three
* Greenback hurt by Mnuchin tax reform comments
* Dollar hits more than 2-wk low vs yen of 112.06 yen
* Bitcoin hits all-time high
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, Feb 24 The U.S. dollar slipped to a
more than two-week low against the yen and a one-week trough on
a closely followed index on Friday as investors doubted the
likelihood of swift tax reform and a quick boost in spending
from U.S. President Donald Trump's administration.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, was set to snap two
straight weeks of gains with a weekly loss.
On Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
suggested that much work was still needed on key elements of a
tax reform plan, one of the policies investors had anticipated
would spur inflation and drive up U.S. interest
Analysts said that, with little else in the way of new
developments, Federal Reserve meeting minutes released Wednesday
showing that there was much less urgency to raise rates among
voting members continued to fuel doubts that the U.S. central
bank would raise interest rates next month.
The dollar index was down 0.12 percent at 100.930 after
hitting a one-week low of 100.660. The index hit a 14-year high
of 103.820 at the start of the year, largely on the hopes
surrounding Trump's avowed pro-growth policies.
"There is only so much that markets can do on hope and
speculation, and I think we’re at a stage now where investors
want to see some concrete details on any fiscal package from the
government," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at
Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.
"That lack of detail on the fiscal side of the equation is
inhibiting the dollar’s ability to retest those highs," he said.
The dollar was down 0.3 percent against the yen at 112.23
yen after touching 112.06 yen, its lowest since Feb. 9. The euro
was up slightly against the dollar at $1.0587.
"Ultimately, outside of the U.S. there is reflation
happening and data is looking strong, so perhaps it’s time to
just take some dollar longs off the table," said UBS Wealth
Management currency strategist Geoffrey Yu in London.
Digital currency bitcoin hit a record high of $1,220 in
Asian trade on speculation that a bitcoin exchange traded fund
(ETF) is set to get approval from the U.S. regulator.
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Additional reporting by Jemima
Kelly in London Editing by W Simon)