(December 07, 2017) The dollar edged up to two-week highs against a basket of the other major currencies on Thursday as risk appetite improved amid optimism on U.S. tax reforms and signs of ongoing strength in the labor market.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, edged up 0.12% to 93.63 by 03:40 AM ET (08:40 AM GMT), the most since November 22.
The dollar gained ground against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.29% to 112.59, pulling away from the previous day’s low of 112.37.
The dollar fell against the safe haven yen on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings that it would inflame tensions in the Middle East.
Demand for the dollar remained supported by hopes that U.S. Congress will soon pass tax reform legislation that gives the economy a fiscal boost.
Senate Republicans agreed to talks with the House of Representatives on reconciling their separate versions of the legislation on Wednesday, fueling hopes that lawmakers will reach an agreement on a final bill ahead of a self-imposed December 22 deadline.
Upbeat data on U.S. private sector hiring on Wednesday also provided support to the greenback.
The euro was steady, with EUR/USD at 1.1795, just above the two-week low of 1.1779 hit overnight.
Sterling was near one-week lows, with GBP/USD slipping 0.13% to 1.3379 amid mounting concerns that a Brexit deal may not be reached ahead of next week’s European Union summit.
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was also lower, with AUD/USD down 0.5% to 0.7524.
The New Zealand dollar followed its Australian counterpart lower, with NZD/USD last down 0.61% to 0.6840 despite data overnight showing that domestic house prices jumped 6.4% in November.