Investing.com – The U.S. dollar was higher on Thursday as jobless claims data remained in line with a strong economy, supporting a Federal Reserve rate increase.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.32% to 96.97 as of 10:40 AM ET (15:40 GMT).
The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. rose by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 from the previous week’s total of 214,000. The numbers give support to the Federal Reserve gradually increasing interest rates.
Investors are also looking ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in Houston, Texas at 11:30 AM ET (16:30 GMT). On Wednesday, Powell said the U.S. economy was strong and indicated that the central bank will continue to raise rates in 2019, albeit at a gradual pace.
The dollar was lower against the Japanese yen, with USD/JPY falling 0.42% to 113.16. The Canadian dollar was higher, with USD/CAD slipping 0.16% to 1.3220.
Meanwhile, sterling slumped after UK Brexit Minister Dominic Raab resigned, adding pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal. GBP/USD slumped 1.62% to 1.2781, not far from a session low of 1.2768.
Elsewhere, EUR/USD inched up 0.04% to 1.1314. The NZD/USD rose 0.34% to 0.6820, while AUD/USD increased 0.57% to 0.7271.