Forex — Dollar moderately higher ahead of U.S. inflation data

© Reuters. Dollar edges up vs. rivals as markets eye U.S. data — The dollar was moderately higher against the other major currencies on Friday, as investors awaited the release of U.S. inflation data later in the day, while tensions between the U.S. and North Korea continued to escalate.

Market participants were eyeing an upcoming report on U.S. consumer price inflation 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.

USD/JPY slipped 0.16% to 108.99, just off a fresh two-month low of 108.91 hit overnight, while USD/CHF fell 0.29% to 0.9698.

Safe-haven demand remained strong as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang persisted after U.S. President Donald Trump warned the peninsula on Thursday against attacking Guam or U.S. allies and said his first threat to unleash «fire and fury» may have not been tough enough..

North Korea’s state media had earlier said that Pyongyang has the capacity 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, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said war would be «catastrophic» and that diplomacy was gaining results.

Elsewhere, EUR/USD edged down 0.16% at 1.1753, while GBP/USD eased 0.08% to 1.2967.

The Australian dollar was weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.33% at 0.7859, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7278.

Data earlier 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, adding that a lower New Zealand dollar would help increase inflation and achieve more balanced growth.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD was almost unchanged at 1.2735, just off a one-month peak of 1.2753 reached overnight.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.08% at 93.37.

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