Dollar index edges higher, U.S. data in focus

Investing.com –

Investing.com – The dollar edged higher against the other major currencies on Thursday, shrugging off indications that the Federal Reserve will hold off from hiking interest rates for longer than expected as markets eyed upcoming U.S. data.

Sentiment on the dollar became vulnerable after the minutes of the Fed’s January meeting showed that policymakers expressed concern that raising interest rates too soon could dampen the U.S. economic recovery.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.15% to 94.28.

The euro was almost unchanged against the dollar, with EUR/USD at 1.1396.

Investors continued to focus on developments in Greece, as Athens was expected to submit a request for an extension of its existing loan agreement with the euro zone, which differentiates from its bailout, later Thursday.

The pound edged up to more than one-month highs against the dollar, with GBP/USD adding 0.13% to 1.5456.

The Confederation of British Industry earlier reported that its index of industrial order expectations increased by 6.0 points to a reading of 10.0 this month from January’s reading of 4.0. Analysts had expected the index to rise by 2.0 points to 6.0 in February.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY edged up 0.17% to 118.98, while USD/CHF advanced 0.49% to 0.9469.

In Switzerland, official data showed that the trade surplus widened to 3.43 billion Swiss francs in January from a downwardly revised surplus of 1.51 billion the previous month. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to hit 1.23 billion Swiss francs last month.

The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars were broadly weaker, with AUD/USD shedding 0.23% to 0.7792 and NZD/USD slipping 0.25% to 0.7525, while USD/CAD rose 0.21% to 1.2479.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish a report on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region and the weekly government figures on initial jobless claims.

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