AUD/USD traded at 0.9387, down 0.07%, ahead of the data. USD/JPY traded at 101.29, down 0.05%, while EUR/USD changed hands at 1.3603, down 0.04%.
Hardly any major data releases on tap outsiode of May housing finance data in Australia at 1130 in Sydney (0130 GMT). Housing finance are expected to show a 1.0% month-on-month fall after a flat result in April.
Overnight, the dollar traded largely higher against most major currencies on concerns that southern European banking sectors may be in trouble.
The parent company of Portugal’s largest bank, Banco Espírito Santo, said it missed payments on commercial paper to a few clients, which spooked markets by fueling concerns surrounding the soundness of the banking sectors in Portugal as well as in Spain and Italy.
Elsewhere, weak euro zone factory data bruised the single currency and fueled safe-haven demand for the greenback.
Italy’s industrial output unexpectedly fell 1.2% in May from April, defying expectations for a 0.2% expansion, while French industrial production plunged 1.7% in May, also confounding expectations for a 0.2% gain.
Meanwhile in the U.S., solid jobless claims numbers supported the greenback.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 5 declined by 11,000 to 304,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to hold steady at 315,000 last week.
The greenback continued to applaud the Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting minutes, which pointed to an October date in which the U.S. central bank’s bond-buying program should end.
Still, the Fed did not hint when interest rates could rise, leaving markets to conclude some time will pass when the bond-buying program closes and the rate hikes begin, which capped the dollar’s gains.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was flat at 80.16.