Forex – Dollar gains in U.S. trade, Friday jobs data eyed

Investing.com – The dollar edged up Thursday in the U.S. with investors skittish on political risk, sending the safe-haven Japanese yen into gains and investors looking ahead to jobs data at the end of the week for direction.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.09% to 99.79. USD/JPY changed hands at 112.72, down 0.46%, while GBP/USD dropped 0.96% to 1.2538 and USD/CAD dipped 0.20% to 1.3022.

The Trump administration has rattled leaders in Mexico, Germany and Australia in the past week during phone calls by President Donald Trump that have touched on key aspects of relations with the countries either allied or closely aligned to the U.S. economically and culturally. The attention has diverted focus on economic programs such as tax cuts and higher fiscal spending markets want to know more about.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve held its fire on interest rates as widely expected on Wednesday, but was optimistic on the outlook for the economy in keeping its benchmark overnight lending rate target at 0.5% to 0.75% following a 25 basis point hike in December.

“Measures of consumer and business sentiment have improved of late,” the committee said in its statement, using new language that jibes with voices on Wall Street following the election of Donald Trump as president.

“Job gains remained solid and the unemployment rate stayed near its recent low,” the statement said, reflecting just a minor tweak from language at the December meeting.

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