Investing.com - The dollar was broadly higher against the other major currencies on Friday, as concerns over ongoing tensions in Ukraine continued to favor safe-haven demand, while Thursday''s upbeat U.S. jobless claims data also lent support to the greenback.
The dollar was higher against the euro, with EUR/USD down 0.18% to 1.3815.
Investors remained cautious after pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule. They said they plan to go ahead on Sunday with a vote that some fear could lead to a civil war.
The single currency had weakened broadly on Thursday, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the central bank governing council is comfortable with acting at its next meeting, after the bank has published fresh forecasts for inflation and growth.
Earlier Friday, official data showed that Germany''s trade surplus narrowed to €14.8 billion in March from €15.8 billion in February, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated surplus of €15.7 billion. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to widen to €16.6 billion in March.
Meanwhile, the dollar remained supported after the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 3 fell by 26,000 to 319,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 345,000.
The pound was lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD edging down 0.14% to 1.6908.
Official data earlier showed that U.K. manufacturing production rose 0.5% in March, beating expectations for a 0.3% gain, after a 1.0% increase the previous month.
A separate report showed that the U.K trade deficit narrowed to £8.48 billion in March, from £8.75 billion in February, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated deficit of £9.09 billion. Analysts had expected the trade deficit to widen to £9.00 billion in March.
The data added to a recent string of strong economic reports indicating that the recovery is deepening, fuelling further expectations for a U.K. rate hike in the early part of next year.
The dollar was higher against the yen and the Swiss franc, with USD/JPY adding 0.09% to 101.74 and with USD/CHF rising 0.23% to 0.8822.
The greenback was mixed to higher against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with AUD/USD down 0.08% to 0.9366, NZD/USD slipping 0.13% to 0.8635 and USD/CAD edging down 0.07% to 1.0824.
The Aussie came under pressure after Reserve Bank of Australia reiterated that interest rates will remain at record lows for the foreseeable future, as a fall in mining investment and fiscal tightening weigh on growth.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.14% to 79.58.