Dollar index regains ground ahead of fresh U.S. data

Investing.com –

Investing.com – The dollar rose against the other major currencies on Wednesday, recovering from a recent downward streak fuelled by disappointing U.S. economic reports as markets eyed a fresh batch of U.S. data to be released later in the day.

The euro slid lower against the dollar, with EUR/USD down 0.38% to 1.1368.

Market participants still remained optimistic that a new deal on Greece’s international bailout could be reached, despite a standoff between Athens and European officials after talks broke down on Monday.

Greece’s current €240 billion bailout is due to expire at the end of the month and the new Greek government does not want it extended. Athens rejected a proposed six-month extension of the bailout on Monday, calling it “unacceptable”.

Athens has until Friday to request an extension otherwise its bailout will expire on February 28 and the country will run out of money, which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.

The pound rose close to more than one-month highs against the dollar, with GBP/USD up 0.48% to 1.5424.

In a report, the U.K. Office for National Statistics said that the unemployment rate fell to a six-year low 5.7% in the three months to December from 5.8% in the preceding three month-period and better than expectations for a reading of 5.8%.

The report also showed that the claimant count fell by 38,600 last month, compared to expectations for a decline of 25,000. December’s figure was revised to a drop of 35,800 people from a previously reported decline of 29,700.

Separately, the minutes of the Bank of England’s February policy meeting showed that members voted unanimously to keep the asset puschase facility program on hold.

Members also voted unanimously to keep interest rates unchanged at a record-low 0.5%.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY held steady at 119.27, while USD/CHF rose 0.33 to 1.9399.

The yen showed a muted reaction after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged earlier Wednesday, in a widely anticipated decision.

The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars were broadly weaker, with AUD/USD slipping 0.26% to 1.7798 and NZD/USD shedding 0.35% to 0.7512, while USD/CAD climbed 0.44% to 1.2445.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.30% to 94.43.

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