×

Dollar up slightly vs euro, franc after mixed Fed messages

Getty Images

The U.S. dollar rose slightly against the euro and Swiss franc on Thursday after the president of the New York Federal Reserve said the central bank was on track for a rate hike in June or July, but the greenback slipped against the safe-haven yen on risk aversion.

The euro was last down 0.2 percent against the dollar at $1.12 after the comment from William Dudley, who also said there was a strong sense among Fed policymakers that markets were underestimating the probability of monetary policy tightening.

While the dollar gained against the euro and Swiss franc on Dudley's remarks, it remained below multi-week highs touched earlier given comments from Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer that disappointed investors a day after minutes from the Fed's April meeting signaled a June hike was firmly on the table.

Fischer said the United States required faster potential economic growth in order to lift the long-run equilibrium interest rate. He also did not comment on the likelihood the Fed will raise interest rates again in June.

The euro earlier touched its lowest level against the dollar in more than seven weeks, at $1.1181, on the after-effects of the Fed minutes released on Wednesday.

"The Fed policymakers' comments seemed to cancel each other out," said Sebastien Galy, currency strategist at Deutsche Bank in New York.

The dollar earlier hit a 10-week high against the Swiss franc of 0.9921 franc as investors ramped up expectations for more Fed rate increases this year. But it pared gains to last trade 0.25 percent higher against the franc at 0.9902 franc .

The dollar turned lower against the yen and was last down 0.15 percent against the Japanese currency, at 109.84 yen , after touching a three-week high against the yen of 110.37 yen.

Weakness in U.S. stocks and oil prices on fears over a potential June rate hike likely boosted demand for the yen, said Steven Englander, managing director and global head of G10 FX strategy at Citigroup.

The benchmark U.S. S&P 500 stock index was last down 0.4 percent.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last up just 0.2 percent at 95.25. The index pared gains after hitting a more than seven-week high of 95.502.