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Forex - Dollar index pushes higher in quiet trade

Investing.com -

Investing.com - The dollar pushed higher against other major currencies in quiet trade on Friday, as optimism over the strength of the U.S. economy and hopes for a March rate hike by the Federal Reserve continued to support demand for the greenback.

EUR/USD slid 0.43% to 1.0627, off Thursday's one-week peak of 1.0682.

The greenback remained supported after Fed Chair Janet Yellen told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that the central bank will likely need to raise interest rates at one of its upcoming meetings.

Ms. Yellen said that waiting too long to raise interest rates would be "unwise," given the rise in inflation and economic growth.

The dollar was also underpinned by Thursday's upbeat U.S. jobless claims and building permits data.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD declined 0.54% to 1.2423 after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said retail sales decreased 0.3% in January, compared to expectations for a 0.9% rise.

Year-on-year, retail sales increased by 1.5% last month, compared to forecasts for a 3.4% gain.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales and fuel, fell 0.2% in January, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.7%.

USD/JPY fell 0.34% to 112.87, while USD/CHF gained 0.42% to trade at 1.0012.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.36% at 0.7668 and with NZD/USD shedding 0.37% to 0.7185.

Statistics New Zealand earlier reported that retail sales rose 0.8% in the fourth quarter, confounding expectations for an increase of 1.0%.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD rose 0.29% to trade at 1.3109.

Also Friday, Statistics Canada reported that foreign securities purchases increased by C$10.23 billion in December after a rise of C$7.26 billion in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated C$7.24 gain.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.36% at 100.81, pulling further away from the previous session's one-week low of 100.40.

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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.

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