The dollar rose to the day’s highs against a currency basket on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress the central bank remains on track to gradually raise interest rates, but soft U.S. economic data tempered gains.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.25% to 89.98 by 09:02 AM ET (14:02 GMT).
In prepared testimony, Powell said the Fed remains on track to gradually raise rates to keep the economy on an even keel amid strengthening growth and inflation.
“The economic outlook remains strong,” he said. “Further gradual increases in the federal funds rate will best promote attainment of both of our objectives.”
The remarks were released ahead of Powell’s congressional testimony later Tuesday, his first appearance on Capitol Hill since he was sworn in as the new Fed chief earlier this month.
At the same time, data showed that U.S. durable goods orders fell by the most in six months in January.
Orders for durable goods, or items intended to last at least three years, dropped 3.7% last month from December, the Commerce Department said.
The dollar was a touch higher against the yen, with USD/JPY inching up 0.15% to 107.10.
The euro fell to the day’s lows against the dollar, with EUR/USD down 0.26% 1.2286.
The pound was also weaker, with GBP/USD shedding 0.43% to trade at 1.3913.