Daily Morning Report 17.02.2017

The dollar eased slightly in Asia on Friday in thin regional trade with the focus on continued political turmoil in the U.S. and a looming question over Greece as a review of its bailout progress nears a deadline.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.02% t0 100.47. USD/JPY changed hands at 113.40, up 0.13%, while AUD/USD gained 0.17% to 0.7710. EUR/USD traded at 1.0672, down 0.02%.

Overnight, the U.S. dollar extended early morning losses against major currencies on Thursday, as the latest U.S. employment figures signalled that the labor market continues to tighten.

The U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims increased by 5,000 to 239,000 in the week ending February 11 from the previous week’s total of 234,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 11,000 to 245,000 last week.

The fall in the U.S. dollar comes against the backdrop of reinvigorated hopes of a March rate hike, after Fed Chair Janet Yellen, in her testimony to congress on Wednesday, hinted that more interest rate increases were on the way, as the US economy is “coming close to achieving Fed mandates”.