Investing.com – The dollar remained broadly higher against other major currencies on Thursday, after the release of upbeat U.S. jobless claims data and as growing expectations for a March rate hike by the Federal Reserve continued to support demand for the greenback.
The U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims declined by 19,000 to 223,000 in the week ending February 25 from the previous week’s total of 242,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 1,000 to 243,000 last week.
The greenback was already boosted after a number of Federal Reserve officials this week expressed their support for a March rate hike.
EUR/USD slid 0.26% to 1.0519, the lowest since February 22.
Eurostat reported on Thursday that the consumer price index rose 2.0% in February, in line with expectations and following a final reading of a 1.8% rise the previous month.
Elsewhere, GBP/USD was little changed at a six-week low of 1.2287 after research group Markit said its U.K. construction purchasing managers’ index ticked up to 52.5 in February from January’s 52.2, compared to economists’ forecasts for an unchanged reading.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier reported that building approvals increased by 1.8% in January, compared to expectations for a 0.4% fall.
A separate report showed that Australia’s trade surplus narrowed to A$1.302 billion in January from a revised A$3.334 billion in December. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to widen to A$3.800 billion in January.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD rose 0.38% to trade at a five-week high of 1.3377.
Statistics Canada reported on Thursday that the country’s gross domestic product rose 0.3% in December, in line with expectations.
Canada’s economy grew 0.5% in November, up from previously estimated growth rate of 0.4%.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.29% at a seven-week high of 102.04.