Dollar index holds gains after mixed U.S. data

Investing.com –

Investing.com – The dollar held gains against the other major currencies on Thursday, after mixed U.S. economic reports as concerns over Greece’s debt continued to weigh on market sentiment.

In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index deteriorated to a 12-month low of 5.2 this month from January’s reading of 6.3. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 9.3 in February.

The data came after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending February 14 decreased by 21,000 to 283,000 from the previous week’s total of 304,000.

Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to 293,000 last week.

The dollar had weakened on Wednesday 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 0.21% to 94.32.

The euro was little changed against the dollar, with EUR/USD at 1.1392 following reports that Germany rejected a proposed bailout extension request from Greece.

The Greek request included a pledge to maintain “fiscal balance” for a six-month period, in order to give it time to reach a new agreement on growth over the next four years with its partners in the euro zone, Reuters reported.

But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it was “not a substantial proposal for a solution” and did not meet the criteria agreed on at the euro group meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday.

The European Commission had earlier welcomed the bailout extension request, saying it could pave the way for compromise and stability in the euro zone.

Earlier Thursday, the minutes of the European Central Bank’s January meetin showed that the Governing Council “broadly shared” the view that quantitative easing was needed.

The pound held steady against the dollar, with GBP/USD at 1.5438.

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 added 0.13% to 118.93, while USD/CHF advanced 0.48% to 0.9469.

The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars were broadly weaker, with AUD/USD shedding 0.22% to 0.7792 and NZD/USD slipping 0.15% to 0.7532, while USD/CAD climbed 0.55% to 1.2521.

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