Dollar remains close to 8-month highs on U.S. optimism

Shutterstock photo - - The dollar remained close to eight-month highs against the other major currencies on Wednesday, after the release of strong U.S. economic reports boosted optimism over the strength of the economy.

USD/JPY edged up 0.26% to 122.84.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that new home sales rose by 10.7% to 495,000 units last month, compared to expectations for a gain of 6.0% to 500,000.

The report came shortly after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending November 21 declined by 12,000 to 260,000 from the previous week's revised total of 272,000.

Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said that durable goods orders jumped by 3.0% last month, easily surpassing forecasts for 1.5%.

Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, rose 0.5% in October, compared to expectations for an increase of 0.3%.

Data also showed that U.S. personal spending inched up 0.1% last month, missing expectations for a 0.3% gain.

Earlier Wednesday, the minutes of the Bank of Japan's October meeting showed that some board members believe that an output gap was one reason the country was taking longer to meet inflation targets.

These concerns underlined a lingering worry that the delay in meeting the BOJ's 2% inflation target meant that its quantitative easing measures had been ineffective.

However, the majority view was that the delay in hitting the inflation target was due to weak oil prices , according to the minutes.

EUR/USD dropped 0.51% to fresh seven-month lows of 1.0589.

Market sentiment was hit after news on Tuesday that Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border. Ankara claimed the SU-24 warplane had entered Turkish airspace, but Moscow has rejected those claims.

Elsewhere, the dollar was steady against the pound, with GBP/USD at 1.5086 and was higher against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF gaining 0.68% to 1.0237.

The Australian dollar was weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.31% at 0.7234, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.6555.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD added 0.13% to 1.3322, not far from Monday's two-month high of 1.3437

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.40% at a fresh eight-month peak of 100.08. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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