The dollar continued to hover at 15-month lows against the other major currencies on Wednesday, as ongoing tensions in Washington and caution ahead of a highly-anticipated U.S. employment report weighed.
The dollar remained under pressure after the White House on Tuesday confirmed that U.S. President Donald Trump played a role in drafting a statement about his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during last year’s election campaign, which was later shown to be misleading.
The fresh revelations added to investors’ fears that the ongoing controversies embroiling the Trump administration will make it more difficult to make progress on the president’s economic agenda.
Recent lackluster U.S. economic reports, which have raised doubts over the future pace of policy tightening by the Federal Reserve, have also weighed on the greenback.
Investors were looking ahead to the upcoming ADP jobs report due later in the day, as well as Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for July for fresh indications on the possible direction of Fed policy.
EUR/USD gained 0.42% to 1.1850, just off a 32-month peak of 1.1868 hit overnight.
The single currency has been largely supported in recent weeks, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled in June that it could soon start tapering its stimulus program.
Elsewhere, GBP/USD rose 0.23% to 1.3238, as investors began to prepare for the Bank of England’s monthly policy statement, due on Thursday.
Markets shrugged off a report by research group Markit on Wednesday saying that its U.K. construction purchasing managers’ index fell to 51.9 last month from June’s reading of 54.8.
Economists had expected the index to drop to only 54.5 in July.
USD/JPY advanced 0.38% to 110.778, while USD/CHF added 0.19% to trade at 0.9673.
The Australian dollar was steady, with AUD/USD at 0.7964, while NZD/USD dropped 0.567% to 0.7427.
Earlier Wednesday, Statistics New Zealand reported that the number of employed people fell by 0.2% in the second quarter, disappointing expectations for a 0.7% rise and after an increase of 1.2% in the three months to March.
However, the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.8% in the last quarter from 4.9% in the first quarter of 2017, in line with expectations.
In Australia, data showed that building approvals climbed 10.9% in June, blowing past expectations for a 1.5% rise.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged up 0.19% to trade at 1.2564, after hitting a five-week low of 1.2412 on Tuesday.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.16% at 92.77, just off the previous session’s 15-month low of 92.64.
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