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US Dollar Strengthens on Bernanke, Economic Data

July 18, 2013 at 13:56 by Miranda Marquit

Ulysses S. Grant on US 50-dollar billUS dollar is higher today, gaining against its major counterparts. Remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, along with the latest unemployment data, are helping the greenback.

Greenback is gaining ground today, thanks to speculation that the economy might pick up enough for the Federal Reserve to pull back its easing efforts.

Ben Bernanke‘s testimony to Congress yesterday, while insisting that interest rates would remain low, offered a glimmer of hope for those looking for signs that the Fed is ready to cut back its asset purchases. Even if rates remain low for the foreseeable future, the cut to asset purchases would still help the dollar.

Also providing a boost to the speculation of tapering is the latest unemployment data. Claims are down, resulting in the fewest jobless claims since May. This news, with initial jobless claims falling 24,000, provides more evidence that the US economy is on the mend, and that perhaps tapering can start sooner rather than later — no matter what the Fed decides to do about interest rates.

At 13:52 GMT the US dollar index is up to 82.8950 from the open at 82.6810. EUR/USD is down to 1.3085 from the open at 1.3125. GBP/USD is down to 1.5208 from the open at 1.5213. USD/JPY is up to 100.2500 from the open at 99.5830.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the US Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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