The dollar pushed higher against a currency basket on Thursday, boosted by data showing that U.S. import prices rose more than forecast in February, fueling expectations for a pickup in inflation this year.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.17% at 89.91 by 09:02 AM ET (13:02 GMT).
The dollar found some support after the Labor Department reported that import pricesrose 0.4% last month, compared to forecasts for a more modest increase of 0.3%.
The report came after data earlier this week pointed to steady gains in consumer and producer price inflation last month, supporting expectations that the Federal Reserve will likely stick to a gradual pace of interest rate increases this year.
The Fed is expected to hike rates three times this year, with the first hike anticipated at next week’s policy meeting.
At the same time, another report showed that U.S. initial jobless claims fell last week, pointing to continued strength in the labor market.
Separate reports showed that while manufacturing activity in the New York region rose robustly in March, factory activity in the Philadelphia area slowed slightly this month.
The dollar has been pressured lower this week as concerns over trade protectionism and political turmoil in Washington weighed after U.S. President Donald Trump sought to impose tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports.
Trade tensions had already mounted after Trump last week announced plans to levy tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum.
The dollar remained lower against the safe haven yen, with USD/JPY last down 0.31% at 105.98, not far from an overnight low of 105.79.
The euro fell to the day’s lows against the dollar, with EUR/USD down 0.22% to 1.2340.
The pound was also lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD losing 0.18% to trade at 1.3939.