The U.S. dollar held steady near recent lows against other major currencies on Thursday, as U.S. political turmoil and concerns over a potential global trade war continued to weigh.
Markets were jittery after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, considered more moderate in his administration. Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Separately, fears of a potential global trade war were reignited after Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports, specifically targeting the technology and telecommunications sectors.
Sentiment on the greenback was also vulnerable after the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that retail sales fell 0.1% in February, compared to expectations for a 0.3% rise.
However, a separate report showed that U.S. producer prices rose 0.2% in February, beating forecasts for an uptick of 0.1%.
Market participants were now looking ahead to U.S. manufacturing activity data in the New York and Philadelphia areas, as well as the weekly report on U.S. jobless claims for further indications on the strength of the economy.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 89.75 by 06:25 a.m. ET (10:25 GMT).
The euro was little changed, with EUR/USD at 1.2362, while GBP/USD slipped 0.12% to 1.3948.
Sentiment on the single currency was vulnerable after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday that the bank still needs to see more evidence that inflation is moving closer to its target before it would consider the removal of monetary stimulus.
The yen was stronger, with USD/JPY retreating 0.41% to 105.88, while USD/CHFwas little changed at 0.9458.
The Swiss National Bank left its Libor rate unchanged at 0.75%, in a widely expected move.
Elsewhere, the Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USDdown 0.28% at 0.7855 and with NZD/USD falling 0.27% to 0.7310.
Data earlier showed that New Zealand’s economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the fourth quarter, adding to expectations that interest rates will remain on hold for longer.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD held steady at 1.2960.