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Dollar Higher as Aussie, Kiwi and Yen Fall

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The dollar was higher against a basket of major currencies on Friday, but was still on track for a weekly loss. The Aussie, kiwi and yen, meanwhile, fell.

The greenback strengthened as investors sought safe havens after North Korea launched its fifth nuclear test.

The currency faced increased pressure after a new report this week showed that activity in the U.S. service sector slowed in August to its lowest level in six years. The weak data coupled with the disappointing jobs report last week have dampened hopes of a rate hike in the near future.

Against the yen, the dollar pushed up 0.47% to 102.95. The greenback also moved higher against the Australian and New Zealand dollars, paring earlier losses.

The Aussie was down 0.79% to 0.7582 in morning trade after climbing to 0.7649 overnight. The New Zealand dollar eased 0.65% to 0.7350.

The dollar strengthened against its Canadian counterpart, up 0.5% to 1.2998 during morning trade. The Canadian dollar extended its losses after new data revealed that the country’s unemployment rate climbed 0.1% to 7% in August.

The dollar index climbed to 95.19 mid-morning.

Meanwhile, the euro held steady against the dollar, trading at 1.1254. The euro strengthened yesterday ahead of the ECB meeting.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the central bank boosted its growth forecast for 2016 to 1.7%, up from 1.6%. It also lowered its 2017 forecast to 1.6%, down from 1.7%.

Mario Draghi, ECB President, said the central bank’s monetary policy is effective, but the changes to the growth forecast did not warrant a decision to take action. He also warned that interest rates would remain at the present level or lower for an “extended time” to keep the recovery on track.

The ECB left its interest rates unchanged at 0.0%, which was in line with expectations.

 

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