The dollar rose to three-week highs against other major currencies on Thursday, helped by the release of upbeat U.S. economic reports and growing expectations for June rate hike.
The U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims in the week ending May 6 decreased by 2,000 to 236,000 from the previous week’s total of 245,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 7,000 to 245,000 last week.
Separately, the Commerce Department said producer prices increased by0.5% last month, exceeding forecasts for a 0.2% rise. Year-over-year, producer prices rose 2.5% in April.
Core producer prices, which exclude food and energy, advanced by 0.4% in April, higher than forecasts for a gain of 0.2%.
The greenback also remained supported by mounting expectations for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.
Earlier Thursday, the U.K. Office for National Statistics said manufacturing production fell 0.6% in March, compared to expectations for a 0.2% decline of 0.2%.
On an annualized basis, manufacturing production increased 2.3% in March, below forecasts for a 3.0% advance.
The report also showed that industrial production fell 0.5% in March, compared to forecasts for a 0.3% decrease.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand held its benchmark interest rate at 1.75% on Thursday and indicated that a tightening of monetary policy was further away than markets had anticipated.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.18% at 99.67, the highest since April 21.