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Dollar Shrugs off Negative U.S. Data to Remain Near Session Highs

2/22/2019, 10:28:40 AMBasics of Trading
Dollar Shrugs off Negative U.S. Data to Remain Near Session Highs

The U.S. dollar traded near session highs Thursday, despite a slew of negative U.S. economic reports pointing to signs of slowing growth in the underlying economy.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.22% to 96.50, near session highs of 96.53.

A trio of negative reports across key sectors of the economy undershot economists' forecasts, raising doubts about the strength of the U.S. economy.

The Philadelphia Fed said Thursday its manufacturing index fell to a reading of -4.1 in February from 17.0 last month.

The Commerce Department said core durable goods orders slowed to rate of 0.1% in December, missing economists forecasts for a 0.2% rise.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales fell 1.2% in January from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million units. Economists were expecting a 0.8% increase to 5.01 million homes.

The dour round of data comes just a day after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's January meeting signaled central bank policymakers were preparing to stop shrinking their balance sheet later this year and saw no risk to keeping rates longer for longer.

The greenback, however, since the release of the minutes, has defied expectations that it would soon run out of steam.

"The mostly dovish signal on the balance sheet should keep the USD on the back foot," TD Securities said on Wednesday. "It lends further support to global reach-for-yield and should also reinforce topside resistance in the dollar index."

The euro and pound were modestly lower amid a lack of progress on Brexit talks just weeks ahead of the March 29 deadline when the U.K. is set to leave the EU.

"The worst can be avoided but I'm not very optimistic when it comes to this issue," said European Commission Jean Claude Juncker said Thursday following talks with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

GBP/USD fell 0.12% to $1.3034 and EUR/USD fell 0.05% to $1.1329.

USD/JPY fell 0.08% to Y110.7 as demand for safe-haven yen increased after Wall Street dropped deeper into the red.

USD/CAD gained 0.29% to C$1.3212 as the loonie came under pressure following a fall in oil prices amid data showing a larger-than-expected build in U.S. crude inventories.