The dollar was at three-week highs against a basket of the other major currencies on Monday as investors remained focused on the Federal Reserve’s plans to tighten monetary policy, though geopolitical concerns tempered gains.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 101.14 after touching an overnight high of 101.22, the most since March 15.
Demand for the greenback continued to be underpinned after New York Fed President William Dudley said on Friday that plans to trim the Fed’s balance sheet later this year would prompt only a “little pause” in its rate hike plans.
The dollar shrugged off remarks by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who said on Monday that the Fed could begin shrinking its portfolio sometime later this year in a shift that would make it less necessary to raise rates.
Investors also largely shrugged off Friday’s disappointing U.S. employment data, which was not seen as impacting rate hike expectations.
The U.S. economy added just 98,000 jobs last month the Labor Department said, as lower temperatures and winter storms led to a slowdown in hiring.
Investors remained cautious amid heightened geopolitical tensions following the U.S. strike on Syria after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the strikes were a warning to other nations, including North Korea.
The dollar pushed higher against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.2% to 111.33.
The euro edged down to fresh one-month lows, with EUR/USD at 1.0584 as investors continued to weigh political risk from the French presidential elections.
Sterling gained ground, with GBP/USD rising 0.18% to 1.2388, easing away from Friday’s almost three-week trough of 1.2364.
The Australian dollar touched levels not seen since January overnight, with AUD/USD plumbing lows of 0.7477 before pulling back to 0.7491.