On Wednesday, the Australian dollar inched higher against its U.S. counterpart, after the announcement of mixed Australian statistics, although the New Zealand dollar held steady as investors watch the minutes of the Feb Reserve’s latest policy meeting scheduled later in the day.
AUD/USD inched up 0.16% to 0.7687, the highest since February 17, 02:24AM ET.
On Wednesday, the greenback was mostly flat ahead of the release of the minutes of the February Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
The dollar index increased 0.07% at 101.52 at 02:45 ET. It eased 0.30% to 113.31 yen, 02:57AM ET.
Fed Reserve member Patrick Harker said overnight he sees three hikes this year if the U.S. economic recovery remains on target.
Earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that construction work done has declined 0.2% in the 4th quarter, compared to expectations for a 0.3% increased.
Statistics also indicated that the wage price index surged by 0.5% in the last quarter, in line with expectations.
NZD/USD held steady at 0.7158.
The Dollar had held together after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said late Monday that she would be “comfortable” increasing interest rates at this point as inflation weights pick up.
However, on Tuesday, Minneapolis Fed head Neel Kashkari said the U.S. labor market has “more room to run,” signifying that he does not believe the central bank should raise rates rapidly.
The remarks came after Fed Chair Janet Yellen stated the previous week that a rate increase would be proper at one of the Fed’s upcoming meetings.
On Additional News
On Wednesday, the euro declined temporarily below $1.05 for the first time in six weeks, hit by a combination of worries over France’s presidential election campaign and increasing expectations for U.S. interest rate hikes.
Up to now, concern that anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen could win in May and bring a fatal blow to the euro project have played out mainly in the options market, where investors pay less to bet on the currency falling.
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