Forexpros – The U.S. dollar was broadly higher against its major counterparts on Thursday, as the absence of fresh monetary easing measures by the Federal Reserve lent support to the greenback, while sustained euro zone debt concerns boosted safe haven demand.
During European morning trade, the dollar was higher against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.31% to hit 1.2668.
The euro came under pressure after the Fed extended its current bond buying program, known as “Operation Twist”, until the end of the year and said that it was ready to take additional steps. The announcement disappointed market expectations for more aggressive measures to shore up growth in the world’s largest economy, following a recent string of weak U.S. data.
Meanwhile, Markit said that its preliminary German manufacturing purchasing managers’ index declined more-than-expected to 44.7 in June from a final reading of 45.2 in May.
The country’s service sector expanded, albeit at a slower than expected pace, with the PMI at 50.3, down from May’s final reading of 51.8.
A report also showed that the preliminary manufacturing PMI for the euro zone fell to 44.8 in June from a final reading of 45.1 in May, while service sector activity rose to a two-month high.
Also Thursday, Spain saw borrowing costs rise at a well-received auction of two-, three- and five-year government bonds. The yield on Spanish 10-year bonds eased to 6.65% following the auction, down from 6.74% before the results and after hitting euro-era highs on Monday.
Meanwhile, investors remained jittery ahead to the outcome of an audit of Spanish banks later in the day, amid concerns that the results could show that a EUR100 billion bailout for the country’s banks agreed earlier this month would not be large enough.
The greenback was also higher against the pound, with GBP/USD falling 0.10% to hit 1.5704.
The pound trimmed losses against the greenback after official data showed that U.K. retail sales rose 1.4% in May, beating expectations for a 1.1% rise and following a 2.4% decline in April.
Elsewhere, the greenback was higher against the yen and the Swiss franc, with USD/JPY rising 0.24% to hit 79.72 and USD/CHF advancing 0.29% to hit 0.9479.
In addition, the greenback was higher against its Canadian and Australian counterparts but lower against its New Zealand cousin, with USD/CAD rising 0.28% to hit 1.0212, AUD/USD falling 0.28% to hit 1.0164 and NZD/USD adding 0.28% to hit 0.7984.
Official data showed earlier that New Zealand’s gross domestic product grew by 1.1% in the first quarter, beating expectations for a 0.5% rise and following a 0.4% increase the previous quarter.
The commodity-related currencies were also weighed by Chinese manufacturing data, showing a contraction in June for the eighth consecutive month.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.22%, to trade at 81.80.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce government data on unemployment claims, followed by preliminary data on manufacturing activity and an industry report on existing home sales. The country was also to release data on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area.