- The U.S. dollar edged up to two-week highs against its Canadian counterpart on Thursday, after the release of strong U.S. economic reports boosted demand for the greenback.

USD/CAD hit 1.1093 during early U.S. trade, the pair''s highest since February 6; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.1089, adding 0.09%.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.1003, the low of February 11 and resistance at 1.1199, the high of January 30.

Market research group Markit said that its preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index increased to 56.7 this month from a final reading of 53.7 in January, expanding at the fastest pace since May 2010 in February. Analysts had expected the index to dip to 53.0 this month.

In addition, the Department of Labor said the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell by 3,000 to 336,000, slightly below expectations for a decline of 4,000.

The Labor Department also said U.S. consumer prices rose 1.6% on a year-over-year basis in January, in line with forecasts. Consumer prices were 0.1% higher from a month earlier, also matching forecasts.

Core consumer prices, which strip out food and energy costs, were also up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis and 0.1% from the previous month.

The data came after Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting indicated that that the current pace of its decrease in bond purchases would remain unchanged, so long as the economy shows signs of improvement.

The loonie was little changed against the euro, with EUR/CAD dipping 0.03% to 1.5212.

Also Thursday, the Markit euro zone composite output purchasing managers’ index ticked down to a two month low of 52.7 this month, but remained close to January’s 31-month high of 52.9.

A modest pickup in euro zone service sector activity was offset by an easing the rate of manufacturing output. However, manufacturing activity continued to outperform services activity, due in large part to strong export demand from outside the euro area.

Germany’s composite output index rose to a 32-month high this month, but France’s composite index fell to a two-month low, as service sector activity declined at the fastest rate in nine months.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger