Dollar broadly higher vs. rivals ahead of U.S. data

Share | - The U.S. dollar was broadly higher against the other major currencies on Friday, ahead of the release of U.S. data later in the day, although Wednesday's comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continued to weigh.

During European morning trade, the dollar was higher against the euro, with EUR/USD sliding 0.35% to 1.3050.

Official data showed that industrial production in the euro zone fell 0.3% in May, exceeding expectations for a 0.2% downtick, after a 0.5% increase the previous month.

The euro was also hit after the European Central Bank's monthly bulletin said Thursday that the extended period of time the bank expects interest rates to remain at present or lower levels is "flexible" and indicated that further rate cuts are possible.

The greenback was also lower against the pound, with GBP/USD shedding 0.37% to 1.5128.

Elsewhere, the greenback was higher against the yen and the Swiss franc, with USD/JPY easing up 0.08% to trade at 99.04, and with USD/CHF adding 0.31% to 0.9499.

The greenback was steady to higher against its Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, with USD/CAD inching up 0.01% to 1.0369, AUD/USD declining 0.52% to 0.9141 and NZD/USD slipping 0.11% to 0.7844.

In a report, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said home loans increased by 1.8% in May, less than the expected 2.5% rise, after a 1.2% gain the previous month.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.30% to 83.14.

Demand for the greenback remained under pressure after Bernanke on Wednesday said the Fed will continue to maintain accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future, citing low levels of inflation and the high unemployment rate.

Bernanke said the bank will not raise interest rates until the U.S. unemployment rate hits 6.5%.

The comments came after the minutes of the central bank's June policy meeting showed that Fed policymakers remain divided over when to begin tapering its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce official data on producer price inflation and preliminary data from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.
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