The dollar remained broadly stronger against the other major currencies on Thursday, after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting were seen as being more hawkish.
The dollar was boosted after Wednesday’s minutes of the Fed’s July meeting showed that some officials believe the strengthening recovery and ongoing improvement in the labor market supports a move towards tightening monetary policy.
Other officials want to see further evidence of economic recovery before moving towards raising rates.
Investors were looking ahead to a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole on Friday for further indications on the possible future direction of monetary policy.
EUR/USD held steady, near 11-month lows at 1.3265 after data showed that activity in the euro zone’s manufacturing sector slowed to a 13 month low in August, with the euro zone manufacturing purchasing managers' index down to 50.8 from 51.8 in July. Economists had forecast a decline to 51.3.
The region’s services PMI slid to 53.5 from 54.2 in July, in line with forecasts.
Activity in Germany’s factor sector slowed but remained solid, while manufacturing activity in France contracted for a sixth successive month.
The pound hit fresh four-and-a-half month lows, with GBP/USD down 0.08% at 1.6581 after official data showed that U.K. retail sales rose 0.1% in July, disappointing expectations for an increase of 0.4%.
Retail sales for June were revised to a 0.2% gain from a previously estimated 0.1% rise.
Data earlier showed that manufacturing activity in Japan accelerated in August, indicating that the economy is stabilizing after a sharp contraction in the second quarter, due to a sales tax hike.
In Switzerland, official data earlier showed that the trade surplus widened more than expected to 3.98 billion Swiss francs last month.
The export-related currencies came under pressure after a report showed that the preliminary reading of China’s HSBC manufacturing index fell to a three month low of 50.3 in August from 51.7 in July and well short of forecasts for 51.5.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.02% to 82.31, the highest level since September.