The Aussie eased in Asia on Friday after an initial bumping a light regional data day with investors focused on an increasingly soft global monetary policy outlook.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.24% to 99.38.
Overnight, the dollar remained broadly higher against the other major currencies on Thursday, after the release of positive U.S. economic reports and as the European Central Bank signaled the possibility of further easing measures in March.
The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending January 15 increased by 10,000 to 293,000 from the previous week’s total of 283,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 5,000 to 278,000 last week.
In addition, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index improved to -3.5 this month from December’s reading of -5.9. Analysts had expected the index to hit -5.0 in December.
Oil prices slid again on Thursday, re-approaching the 12-year lows hit in Wednesday’s session as a global supply glut continued to pressure prices.
The dollar weakened against the safe-haven yen on Wednesday as the plunge in oil prices added to fears over slowing global growth.
The euro weakened after ECB President Mario Draghi said it would be necessary to “review and reconsider” the bank’s monetary policy stance at its next meeting in March when new economic projections become available.
He said lower oil prices should help consumers and businesses, but the risks to euro zone growth remained to the downside.
The ECB left the deposit rate at -0.3% after December’s cut and held the benchmark refinancing rate steady at 0.05%.
The bank expects interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time, Draghi said.