Dollar Steady Ahead of U.S. Economic Reports

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By Jacob Maslow

The dollar held steady against rival currencies on Thursday, as investors anticipated the release of U.S. service sector data that is due later in the day.

USD/JPY rose 0.40% to trade higher at 113.92.

The American currency rose in yesterday’s session after non-farm private employment numbers grew by 214,000 last month, surpassing projections of a 190,000 increase.

EUR/USD was steady at 1.0875.

European data released on Thursday revealed that euro zone retail sales grew by 0.4% in January, beating growth forecasts of 0.1%.  Year-over-year, retail sales in January grew 2.0%, surpassing expectations of a 1.3% gain.

Despite positive numbers, the single currency remained under pressure after Benoît Cœuré, European Central Bank board member, hinted on Wednesday that the ECB will ease monetary policy this month to stimulate economic growth and boost inflation.

The dollar was virtually unchanged against the sterling and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USD holding steady at 1.4070 and the USD/CHF trading at 0.9969.

Meanwhile, the Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger against their American rival, with AUD/USD and the NZD/USD inching up 0.37% and 0.25% to trade slightly higher at 0.7322   and 0.6693 respectively.

USD/CAD rose 0.17% to trade at 1.3443.

The U.S. dollar index, which is the standard measure of the American currency’s standing against a group of six trade-weighted currencies, was steady at 98.26

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