The U.S. dollar continued to rise against other major currencies on Friday, after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting and Thursday’s upbeat data boosted optimism over the strength of the U.S. economy.
The greenback was boosted after the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims fell by 7,000 to 222,000 last week, compared to expectations for jobless claims to total 230,000.
The data came a day after the minutes of the Fed’s January policy meeting showed that central bank officials see increased economic growth and rising inflation as justification to continue to raise interest rates gradually.
The dollar had been pressured lower recently by expectations for a faster pace of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Fed and other central banks.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.13% at 89.78 by 05:00 a.m. ET (09:00 GMT), just off a one-and-a-half week high of 90.17 hit on Thursday.
The euro and the pound were lower, with EUR/USD down 0.15% at 1.2310, while GBP/USD added 0.16% to 1.3974.
Official data earlier showed that euro zone consumer price inflation rose 1.3% year-over-year in January, in line with expectations.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices slipped 0.9% last month, also in line with expectations.
Elsewhere, the yen and the Swiss franc were weaker, with USD/JPY rising 0.12% to 106.88 and with USD/CHF edging up 0.16% to 0.9339.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were lower, with AUD/USD down 0.28% at 0.7823 and with NZD/USD declining 0.52% to 0.7303.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD held steady at 1.2711.