Forex — Dollar little changed amid mounting tensions, U.S. data on tap

© Reuters. Greenback holds steady vs. rivals as U.S.-North Korea tensions escalate — The dollar was little changed against other major currencies on Friday, amid mounting geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea and as investors eyed the release of U.S. inflation data due later in the day.

USD/JPY held steady at 109.16, just off a fresh two-month low of 108,91 hit overnight, while USD/CHF was also little changed at 0.9619.

The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc remained supported as tensions escalated between Washington and Pyongyang after U.S. President Donald Trump warned against attacking Guam or U.S. allies.

North Korea’s state media had said on Thursday that the country will develop a plan by mid-August to launch intermediate-range missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam.

In an attempt to dial down the aggressive rhetoric, U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis said war would be «catastrophic» and that diplomacy was gaining results.

The dollar was steady against the euro, with EUR/USD at 1.1766.

Meanwhile, market participants were eyeing an upcoming report on U.S. consumer price inflation, due later on Friday, after the U.S. Commerce Department said on Thursday that producer price inflation and its core reading both unexpectedly declined last month.

The U.S. Department of Labor separately reported that initial jobless claims increased unexpectedly in the week ending August 5.

The reports came after a series of upbeat U.S. employment reports had fueled expectations the Federal Reserve will stick to its plans for a third interest rate hike this year.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD eased up 0.08% to trade at 1.1289.

The New Zealand dollar gained some ground, with NZD/USD up 0.10% at 0.7280 after data showed that the Business NZ Manufacturing Index ticked down to 55.4 in July from 56.2 the previous month, thus still clearly in expansion territory.

The kiwi had tumbled on Thursday after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand left interest rates unchanged but said a lower New Zealand dollar would help increase inflation and achieve more balanced growth.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 93.34.

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