Forex - Dollar index remains supported near 11-month highs

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Investing.com - The dollar remained supported near 11-month highs against the other major currencies on Friday, as concerns over mounting tensions in Iraq and Ukraine continued to support demand for the greenback.

Markets were jittery after U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday authorized air strikes in Iraq to put an end to an onslaught by Islamic militants and begun military air-drops of humanitarian supplies to besieged religious minorities to prevent a "potential act of genocide".

Fresh tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine also weighed, as Moscow banned imports of most food from the West on Thursday.


EUR/USD rose 0.20% to 1.3389, pulling away from nine-month lows touched on Wednesday.

Official data earlier showed that Germany's trade surplus narrowed to €16.2 billion in June, from €18.8 billion in May. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to narrow to €17.5 billion in June.

A separate report showed that French industrial production rose 1.3% in June, exceeding expectations for a 1.0% gain, after a decline of 1.6% in May, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 2.3% drop.

The pound edged lower, with GBP/USD slipping 0.18% to 1.6800 after official data showed that the U.K. trade deficit widened to £9.41 billion in June, from £9.15 billion in May, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated £9.20 billion. Analysts had expected the trade deficit to narrow to £8.80 billion in June.

The dollar was lower against the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc, with USD/JPY slipping 0.11% to 101.96 and with USD/CHF down 0.25% to 0.9065.

At the conclusion of its monthly policy meeting, the Bank of Japan maintained its pledge to increase the monetary base at an annual pace of 60 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen.

The Australian dollar held steady, near two-month lows at 0.9275 after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut growth and inflation forecasts and reiterated that interest rates will remain on hold.

Elsewhere, NZD/USD edged down 0.07% to 0.8471 and USD/CAD rose 0.25% to 1.0950.

In Canada, official data showed that the number of employed people rose by 200 last month, disappointing expectations for an increase of 20,000, after a 9,400 decline in June.

However, the report also showed that Canada's unemployment rate ticked down to 7.0% in July, from 7.1% the previous month, in line with expectations.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.15% to 81.48, still close to Wednesday's 11-month highs of 81.78.

Also Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said, in a preliminary report, that nonfarm productivity rose 2.5% in the second quarter, beating expectations for a 1.5% increase. The first quarter's figure was revised to a 4.5% drop from a previously estimated 3.2% decline.

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