Dollar edges higher after Fed's Powell and US Trade Rep. Lighthizer testify

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The U.S. dollar edged higher on Wednesday as investors digested testimonies from the lead U.S. trade negotiator with China and the top ranking Federal Reserve official.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was up 0.16 percent at 96.15.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell finished his second day of testimony on Wednesday in front of the House Financial Services Committee. In his previous day's testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Powell warned that problems abroad could impact the U.S.; however, he described the economy as "healthy" and said the outlook is "favorable."

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also spoke Wednesday, hinting to the House Ways and Means Committee that a trade deal was not yet certain because China needs to do more than just purchase more U.S. goods.

"If we can complete this effort — and again, I say' if' — and can reach a satisfactory solution to the all-important and outstanding issue of enforceability, as well as some other concerns, we might be able to have agreement that does turn the corner in our economic relationship," Lighthizer said.

Earlier, the yen and the Swiss franc strengthened after Pakistan shot down two Indian jets, sending investors out of riskier markets into safer havens.

The Japanese currency rose to a one-week high of 110.67 per dollar after Pakistan downed the jets a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a war in 1971.

"So far market reaction in major currencies has been relatively limited as tensions between the two countries had already been high. Focus is on whether the conflict shows signs of escalating," said Kyosuke Suzuki, director at Societe Generale in Tokyo.

Elsewhere, investors watched sterling closely as it headed towards a four-month high of $1.3323.

The pound rallied on Tuesday after British Prime Minister Theresa May offered lawmakers the chance to vote on delaying Brexit, opening up the possibility of avoiding a chaotic no-deal departure from the European Union.

Investors are keeping an eye on the U.S.-North Korean summit, which begins in Hanoi later on Wednesday.

The euro was down 0.15 percent at $1.1368 after hitting a three-week high of $1.1402 overnight.

The euro/dollar exchange rate has been helped by a stronger pound recently but will struggle to break above $1.1400, said Chris Tuner, head of currency strategy at ING.