The dollar gained for a seventh day against a basket of peers, the longest streak in almost a year, as revised data in a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago index signaled greater-than-forecast strength in the U.S. economy.
The euro rallied for a fifth week as European Central Bank President Maro Draghi said he expects inflation in the currency bloc to gradually rise, damping bets that policy makers would reduce the benchmark interest rate.
Australia’s dollar gained against most of its major peers amid speculation the Reserve Bank may not cut interest rates further after Governor Glenn Stevens said there are signs that loose policy is supporting spending.
Stepping up verbal intervention may be the Reserve Bank of Australia’s only option to curb the Aussie as strengthening economic data and a neutral policy stance drive the currency toward a three-month high.
Australia’s dollar climbed to the strongest in more than a week after data today showed the January trade surplus widened to the most in 2 1/2 years and retail sales rose three times faster than economists forecast.
New Zealand consumer purchases on debit, credit and store cards fell in December, adding to the case for central bank Governor Alan Bollard to delay raising interest rates until the middle of the year.