The U.S. dollar spiked up to near a 3-year high against the euro in the European session on Thursday, as the nation’s consumer inflation showed a modest increase in January, while a rise in coronavirus cases in China boosted the demand for traditional safe-haven assets.
The U.S. currency touched a 1-1/2-month against the franc and near a 3-year high against the euro following the data.
Data from the Labor Department showed that the consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in January after rising by 0.2 percent in December. Economists had expected prices to increase by 0.2 percent.
Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, rose by 0.2 percent in January after ticking up by 0.1 percent in the previous month. The increase in core prices matched economist estimates.
Separate data showed that first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits inched up less than expected in the week ended February 8.
The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 205,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 203,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 210,000.
Investors await U.S. retail sales data for January due on Friday. Economists expect sales to rise 0.3 percent on month in January, the same rate as in December.
The global risk sentiment faded after a surge in new coronavirus cases in China as officials adopted a new methodology for counting infections.
China announced 15,152 new cases of the flu-like virus on Thursday, bringing the total number to 59,804.
The death toll from the outbreak rose to 1,367 worldwide, according to China’s National Health Commission.
The currency turned higher in the Asian session, as a rise in new Chinese coronavirus cases dampened risk sentiment.
The greenback rose to 0.9794 against the franc, its strongest since December 27. At Wednesday’s close, the pair was valued at 0.9781. Immediate resistance for the currency is likely seen around the 1.00 level.
The greenback approached 1.0848 against the euro, which was the highest since May 2017. The pair had finished Wednesday’s trading at 1.0872. The greenback is likely to face resistance around the 1.05 region, if it gains again.
Final figures from Destatis showed that German consumer price inflation hit a six-month high at the start of the year, driven by a jump in energy prices.
The consumer price index rose 1.7 percent year-on-year following a 1.5 percent increase in December. The flash estimates of all inflation figures for January were confirmed.
But the currency held steady against the yen, after dropping to a 3-day low of 109.62 at 5:00 am ET. The dollar-yen pair was worth 110.09 when it ended deals on Wednesday.
Data from the Bank of Japan showed Japan producer prices rose 0.2 percent on month in January.
That exceeded expectations for a flat reading following the 0.1 percent increase in December.
The greenback, though, dropped to an 8-day low of 1.3046 versus the pound as the latter advanced after the resignation of U.K. finance minister Sajid Javid. The pound-greenback pair had ended yesterday’s trading session at 1.2959. The greenback is seen finding support around the 1.32 mark.
Survey data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that UK housing market activity improved in January with demand, sales and fresh listing all moving into positive territory.
The house price balance rose to +17 percent in January from -2 percent in December. This pick-up was positive price movements in London and the South East.