Investing.com – The dollar was broadly higher against the other major currencies on Wednesday, as comments by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen continued to support the greenback and investors eyed the release of U.S. data later in the day.
The dollar was higher against the euro, with EUR/USD down 0.22% to 1.3537.
The dollar remained supported after Ms. Yellen on Tuesday said interest rates could rise sooner if the labor market was to improve more quickly than expected. However, the Fed chair also said that if the economic recovery disappoints monetary policy would remain accommodative.
The remarks came during testimony to the Senate Banking Committee in Washington.
Ms. Yellen said the economy is continuing to improve but added that the recovery is not yet complete and reiterated that rates are likely to remain on hold for a considerable period after the bank’s quantitative easing program ends.
The pound was fractionally lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD slipping 0.08% to 1.7131, despite data showing that the U.K. unemployment rate fell to its lowest since late 2008 in the three months to May.
The Office for National Statistics said that the claimant count, or the number of people claiming unemployment benefit, fell by 36,300 in June, compared to expectations for a decline of 27,000. May’s figure was revised to 32,800 from a previously reported decline of 27,400.
The unemployment rate declined to 6.5% in the three months to May, from 6.6% in the previous three months.
The robust employment report added to indications that the economic recovery in the U.K. is deepening, fuelling expectations that the Bank of England will hike rates before the end of the year.
The dollar was steady against the yen, with USD/JPY inching up 0.05% to 101.73 and higher against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF rising 0.24% to 0.8978.
In a report, the ZEW Institute said its index for economic expectations in Switzerland fell to a one-and-a-half year low of 0.1 in June, from a reading of 4.8 the previous month. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 5.0 last month.
The greenback was higher against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with AUD/USD down 0.23% to 0.9348, NZD/USD retreating 0.72% to 0.8705 and USD/CAD edging up 0.07% to 1.0766.
In New Zealand, official data earlier showed that consumer price inflation in New Zealand remained unchanged at 0.3% in the second quarter, compared to expectations for an uptick to 0.4%.
On a yearly basis, New Zealand CPI rose to 1.6% from 1.5% a year earlier, compared to expectations for an increase to 1.8%.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.18% to 80.58.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release reports on producer price inflation and industrial production. In addition, Fed Chair Janet Yellen Carney was to testify for the second day to the House financial committee.