All eyes in financial markets were on an appearance by Janet Yellen on Thursday after meeting minutes showed the U.S. Federal Reserve is still far from another rise in interest rates, driving the dollar to its weakest against the yen in 17 months.
The U.S. dollar fell to its lowest level in five months against the euro on Thursday in trade dominated by month-end rebalancing flows, putting the dollar index on track for its worst quarterly performance in five years.
World stocks fell for the first time in four days on Thursday, the final day of a roller-coaster first quarter that has hammered the dollar and the pound but has proven the best in decades for gold and bonds.
The dollar tumbled on Thursday, lifting world shares to their highest level of the year, after the Federal Reserve scaled down its own expectations of the number of U.S. rate hikes likely over the next nine months.
The yen rose more than half a percent against the dollar on Tuesday, helped by an oil price weakening which sent investors in search of traditional safe havens and by a neutral message from the Bank of Japan on rates.