Investing.com

Investing.com - The dollar remained broadly stronger against the other main currencies on Thursday, bolstered by growing expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than anticipated.



EUR/USD was down 0.23% to 1.3799, the lowest level since March 6.



At the conclusion of its two-day policy setting meeting on Wednesday, the Fed said it would reduce its monthly bond purchases by an additional $10 billion to $55 billion.



The dollar rallied after Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the bank could begin to raise interest rates about six months after the bond-buying program winds up, which is expected to happen this fall.



The comments prompted investors to bring forward expectations for a rate hike to as early as April of next year.



However, the Fed statement also emphasized that economic conditions could mean that rates would remain on hold at record lows for some time, even after inflation and employment return to their longer-run trends.



The dollar was steady against the yen, with USD/JPY edging up 0.08% to 102.41, not far from Wednesday’s two-week highs of 102.67.



Elsewhere, the dollar climbed to two-week highs against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF rising 0.30% to 0.8834. The Swiss franc slipped after the Swiss National Bank left rates on hold at 0.0% on Thursday and said it was maintaining its 1.20 minimum exchange rate floor against the euro.



The dollar was steady close to five-week lows against the pound, with GBP/USD trading at 1.6542.



The Australian dollar was little changed, with AUD/USD dipping 0.08% to 0.9032. Meanwhile, USD/CAD edged up 0.10% to 1.1249, holding just below the four-and-a-half year peaks of 1.1270 reached on Wednesday.



The New Zealand dollar was also lower, with NZD/USD down 0.22% to 0.8541. Earlier Thursday, official data showed that New Zealand’s economy grew 0.9% in the fourth quarter, falling short of expectations for 1% growth, while growth in the previous three months was revised slightly lower.



The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.16% to an almost three-week high of 80.20.



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