On Thursday, the Greenback declined vs. a basket of major currencies after ending the previous session higher as U.S. factory activity increased more than expected. Additionally, the minutes from the Fed's Dec. 12-13 meeting helped the USD to recover from recent declines. the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting suggested that the central bank would continue to pursue a gradual approach in raising rates, but may pick up the pace if inflation accelerates. Data on Wednesday showed that the U.S. factory activity rose more than expected in December, backed by a surge in new orders growth, in a further sign of strong economic momentum at the end of the last year. On the release front, the markets are awaiting the U.S. Initial Jobless Claims, which is expected to hit 248k from 245k.
The Single currency rose as much as 0.22%, to settle at $1.2042.
The sterling pound rose by 0.18%, to settle at $1.3541 as the UK service sector accelerated in December, but the underlying trend raised doubts over the continued resilience of the economy.
Against the JPY, the USD rose by 0.05%, to settle at ¥112.57.
Earlier today, Gold prices edged lower as traders took profits as the USD firmed after the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting showed that officials discussed a faster pace of rate hikes this year. Gold Futures - Feb 18 (GCG8), fell as much as 0.27%, to settle at $1,315.00
Oil prices rose to their highest levels in more than 2-1/2 years, touching levels not seen since before a slump in commodity markets in 2014/15, backed by tensions in Iran and by ongoing OPEC-led output cuts. Crude Oil WTI Futures - Feb 18 (CLG8) rose as much as 0.45% at $61.91 and Brent Oil Futures - Mar 18 (LCOH8) was up by 0.19% at $67.97.
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