Dollar Boosted by Renewed Hopes of U.S. Rate Hike

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By Brendel Balaga

The greenback on Friday remained at seven-week highs against rival major currencies, as fresh expectations for a U.S. rate increase that could happen as early as next month continued to support demand for the U.S. dollar.

USD/JPY went up 0.28% to 110.26, a tad below the Thursday’s three-and-a-half week peak of 110.37.

The American currency remained broadly supported after Federal Reserve minutes revealed officials said a June rate hike would be possible if economic conditions supported it.

EUR/USD edged higher to 1.1217, adding 0.14%, but remained within range of Thursday’s seven-week low of 1.1180.

The dollar was stronger compared to the pound, with GBP/USD slumping 0.35% at 1.4560 and was unchanged the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF trading at 0.9910.

The Australian dollar was steady, with AUD/USD trading at 0.7228, while NZD/USD tacked on 0.21% to 0.6756.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD rose 0.14% to 1.3111, near the Thursday’s six-week highs of 1.3155.

Commodity-hinged currencies found some support as oil prices rose on Friday, as turmoil in Nigeria impacted the country’s production and as Libyan output was limited by internal conflict.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the currency’s performance against a basket of six rival currencies, was steady at 95.31, slightly lower than Thursday’s seven-week peak of 95.51.

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