The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.12% to 97.97.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday durable goods orders rose 2.4% last month, beating economist forecasts for a 0.4% rise. But core durable goods ordersunexpectedly fell 0.1%.
The beat on the headline durable goods orders is “misleading” as it was largely driven by a rise in aircraft defense orders, Jefferies said.
“This is a weak (durables goods) report and does not provide encouragement that conditions in the manufacturing sector are improving or will improve anytime soon,” it added.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence gauge rose to 131.6, beating economists’ forecast for a reading of 128.
Consumer sentiment is a leading indicator of consumer spending, which plays a major role in overall economic activity.
The firmer dollar comes ahead of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting, which gets underway later today.
Demand for safe-havens currencies eased, meanwhile, even as the death toll from the coronavirus in China rose to 106, with 4,600 affected globally.
USD/JPY rose 0.21% to Y109.13 and USD/CHF rose 0.39% to 0.9733.
EUR/USD slipped 0.02% to $1.1102 and USD/CAD fell 0.11% to C$1.3178.
GBP/USD fell 0.44% to $1.2996 as sentiment on sterling remains under pressure ahead of the Bank of England rate decision and Brexit.
“The Bank of England will probably cut interest rates at one of its next two policy meetings following recent signs of U.K. economic weakness,” First State Investments said.
But Capital Economics disagrees.
“While there remains a chance that interest rates will be cut this year, we think it is more likely that the markets are caught out by rates being left at 0.75% this year and being increased to 1.00% in 2021,” Capital Economics said.
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