The euro bought $1.3013 around 2200 GMT, up from $1.2787 late Tuesday.
The dollar weakened against the Japanese currency, trading at 99.59 yen compared with 101.11 yen a day earlier, while the euro rose to 129.59 yen from 129.29 yen.
Bernanke, speaking in Cambridge, Massachusetts, insisted the Fed’s easy-money policy is still necessary, because the jobs market remains weak and inflation remains too low for comfort.
“Both the employment side and the inflation side are saying that we need to be more accommodating,” he said, answering questions after a speech.
“Moreover, the other portion of macroeconomic policy, fiscal policy, is now actually quite restrictive…. Put that all together, I think you can only conclude that highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what’s needed in the US economy.”
The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s last policy meeting, released earlier in the day, revealed quite a bit of divergence in views on the tapering of asset purchases, Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management said.
“While Bernanke said the central bank could begin tapering in 2013 and end asset purchases in 2014, the notes from the discussion showed more inconsistency,” she said.
“What this screams of is more contradiction than agreement inside the Fed.”
The dollar lost ground to the British pound, which fetched $1.5048.
It fell to 0.9547 Swiss franc, down from 0.9730 late Tuesday.