FX round-up: Dollar boosted by US manufacturing data

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The dollar made headway against major currencies on Wednesday as a stronger than anticipated US manufacturing report booted the economic outlook for the world’s largest economy.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s regional manufacturing gauge rose to 12.51 points in January from a revised 2.22 the month before and way above the 3.5 expected by analysts. It now stands at the highest level since May 2012.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six others, advanced to 80.994 from 80.632 the previous session.

Markets also mulled more comments from Federal Reserve officials who highlighted the central bank’s commitment to reducing its monetary stimulus.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he expects the US jobless rate to fall to 6% or lower by the end of 2015 while reiterating the Fed’s intention to maintain interest rates low even after the 6.5% mark is reached.

The dollar advanced to ¥104.61 from ¥104.13 on Tuesday as Japanese stocks rallied.

Traders also mulled an upward revision to 2014 global growth forecasts by the World Bank. It expects the world’s economy to expand by 3.2% this year compared to 2.4% growth in 2013 and higher than its June forecast of 3% for 2014.

The euro changed hands at $1.3606 from $1.3678 on Tuesday as German growth figures showed the nation’s economy expanded less than expected.

The pound fell to $1.6373 from $1.6443 before.

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