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Forex – Dollar Holds Near 2-Week Lows with U.S. Data on Tap

© Reuters.  Dollar little changed vs. rivals as markets eye inflation data© Reuters. Dollar little changed vs. rivals as markets eye inflation data

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar held steady near two-week lows against other major counterparts on Friday, as investors remained cautious ahead of a highly-anticipated U.S. inflation report due later in the day.

The greenback had broadly strengthened after the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims fell more than expected to 243,000 last week.

A separate report showed that producer prices increased 0.4% in September, in line with expectations. Core producer prices, which exclude food and energy also rose 0.4%, beating expectations for a 0.2% uptick.

The data came a day after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting showed that policymakers remain divided on inflation.

Market participants were looking ahead to the highly-anticipated U.S. consumer price inflation data, as well as a report on U.S. retail sales set to be released later Friday.

EUR/USD held steady at 1.1831, while GBP/USD gained 0.32% to trade at two-week high of 1.3303.

The pound was boosted by reports by German newspaper Handelsblatt on Thursday that the U.K. could stay in the European Union for another two years.

The newspaper indicated that the EU’s offer is tied to the U.K. meeting all of its obligations as a member country, but giving up its voting rights.

Sterling had initially dropped after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier announced on Thursday that Brexit talks were at an “impasse.”

Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated in a speech on Thursday that the ECB’s asset purchases would continue until officials see a sustained improvement in the outlook for inflation.

Draghi added that interest rates would remain at current levels “well past” the time the central bank stops buying assets.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY slipped 0.14% to 112.12, while USD/CHF held steady at 0.9751.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.19% at 0.7836 and with NZD/USD rising 0.22% to trade at 0.7142 after data earlier showed that China’s imports increased by 18.7% last month, beating expectations, while exports rose less than expected by 8.1%.

China is Australia’s biggest export partner and New Zealand’s second biggest export partner.

The Canadian dollar was little changed, with USD/CAD at 1.2472.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 92.89 by 05:20 a.m. ET (09:20 GMT), not far from the previous session’s two-week trough of 92.64.

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